Australia — Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith on Queensland flooding

TONY EASTLEY: The military’s focus is now set to turn to the recov­ery of bod­ies.
The Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment will send in high wheel army trucks and oth­er heavy mil­i­tary vehi­cles into the dev­as­tat­ed Lock­y­er Val­ley, and flood rav­aged city of Toowoom­ba.

The Defence Min­is­ter Stephen Smith spoke to Saman­tha Haw­ley about the increased mil­i­tary com­mit­ment.

STEPHEN SMITH: Well as a result of our con­ver­sa­tions with Pre­mier Bligh and also with our Defence per­son­nel in Queens­land yes­ter­day, fur­ther today or lat­er today the Prime Min­is­ter will announce a deploy­ment of fur­ther assets.

We’ve made a con­sid­er­able con­tri­bu­tion in terms of heli­copters in par­tic­u­lar. But to assist the search and res­cue and recov­ery, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the Val­ley where there’ve been ter­ri­ble cir­cum­stances, today we’ll announce a fur­ther con­tri­bu­tion of high wheel based army trucks which can get bet­ter access in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions. Also, a deploy­ment of Bush­mas­ter vehi­cles for the same pur­pose. We’re also look­ing at pro­vid­ing a small num­ber of amphibi­ous vehi­cles which can manoeu­vre in the flood waters par­tic­u­lar­ly as the flood waters start to recede but where vehi­cle access remains very dif­fi­cult.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: And what will be the main aim of the mil­i­tary peo­ple on board those vehi­cles?

STEPHEN SMITH: We think there is going to be a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem with trag­ic out­comes in the Val­ley. And that’s where our heli­copter effort has been in the last cou­ple of days. We are steel­ing our­selves for ter­ri­ble out­comes there in terms of loss of life and Pre­mier Bligh has made that clear.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: So what you’re say­ing is that the sol­diers will be look­ing for bod­ies?

STEPHEN SMITH: That will be part of it. I think we have to steel our­selves for that ter­ri­ble out­come.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Exact­ly what areas will they be going into and do you know how many sol­diers will be on those vehi­cles?

STEPHEN SMITH: First­ly there’ll be a small num­ber of vehi­cles. We tried to utilise vehi­cles at the height of the storm a few days ago but road con­di­tions did­n’t allow that. So we’ve got access to a small num­ber of high wheel based vehi­cles; we have access to Bush­mas­ters. Bush­mas­ters are able to car­ry half a dozen or more either Defence per­son­nel or State Emer­gency Ser­vice per­son­nel.

The small amphibi­ous vehi­cles like­wise can car­ry half a dozen Emer­gency Ser­vices per­son­nel or Defence per­son­nel. The pre­cise num­ber of vehi­cles and Bush­mas­ters will depend upon access and cir­cum­stances.

We will have, we expect, a small num­ber of amphibi­ous vehi­cles that will essen­tial­ly focus on the after­math of the tragedy in Toowoom­ba and recov­ery effort in the Val­ley.

TONY EASTLEY: Defence Min­is­ter Stephen Smith speak­ing to Saman­tha Haw­ley.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →