Australia — Operation Queensland Flood Assist

The Joint Task Force lead­ing the Aus­tralian Defence Force res­cue and relief effort in response to the dev­as­tat­ing Queens­land floods con­clud­ed oper­a­tions yes­ter­day and the mis­sion has now tran­si­tioned to one of recov­ery.

The ADF con­tin­ues to pro­vide spe­cial­ist sup­port to Queens­land flood areas and is fur­ther engaged in pro­vid­ing aid to north­ern and cen­tral Queens­land in the wake of Cyclone Yasi. Estab­lished on New Year’s Day at the request of Emer­gency Man­age­ment Aus­tralia, Joint Task Force (JTF) 637 pro­vid­ed essen­tial sup­port to the flood response efforts in var­i­ous areas through­out the state.

Chief of Joint Oper­a­tions Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Mark Evans said approx­i­mate­ly 1900 ADF per­son­nel com­plet­ed tasks rang­ing from gen­er­al clean-up oper­a­tions, search and res­cue tasks and liai­son duties dur­ing the oper­a­tion, but empha­sised that the pub­lic will still see Ser­vice per­son­nel pro­vid­ing recov­ery assis­tance in south­ern Queens­land.

“Whilst Oper­a­tion Queens­land Flood Assist and its focus on ini­tial flood res­cue and relief assis­tance has been com­plet­ed, ADF engi­neer­ing and aer­i­al sur­vey ele­ments will remain in sup­port of emer­gency man­age­ment author­i­ties to assist those com­mu­ni­ties where recov­ery efforts are beyond the cur­rent capac­i­ty of local coun­cils,” Lt Gen Evans said. “Like the rest of the State agen­cies, the tasks per­formed by our ADF per­son­nel over the past month have been many and var­ied.

“Our avi­a­tion units flew about 470 hours and evac­u­at­ed more than 300 res­i­dents, while our fixed wing and rotary air­craft have moved 1.5 mil­lion kg of car­go, enabling vital food and per­son­nel trans­fers,” Lt Gen Evans said.

“Our sea-going units have sur­veyed the chan­nels and anchor­ages of More­ton Bay as well as the Bris­bane Riv­er, enabling vital com­mer­cial ship­ping to re-enter the water­way.”

Lt Gen Evans said Defence per­son­nel worked tire­less­ly in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions all across the state con­duct­ing gen­er­al clean-up duties in hun­dreds of streets, busi­ness­es and hous­es. “A team of Army engi­neers using their equip­ment and spe­cial­ist skills pro­vid­ed impor­tant assis­tance with creek re-direc­tion and remov­ing heavy debris.”

The engi­neer ele­ment remain­ing is com­mand­ed by the Army’s 6th Engi­neer Sup­port Reg­i­ment and includes more than 400 ADF per­son­nel from Queens­land and New South Wales. The aer­i­al sur­vey ele­ment remain­ing on sta­tion is a B-350 King Air and asso­ci­at­ed crew. These tasks are expect­ed to con­clude in mid Feb­ru­ary.

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

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