Over 100 personnel have been tasked with providing logistics and engineering support to assist with the clean-up in storm and flood-affected Victorian communities.
Defence has confirmed that approximately 120 Australian Defence Force personnel has been called upon to assist with the storm and flood recovery effort in regional Victoria, tasked with providing engineering and logistics support to clear roads and distribute essential items, including generators.
“Last night I approved a request from the Victorian government for ADF assistance and immediately asked Defence through Minister [for Defence Peter] Dutton to support this request and begin planning,” Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said.
According to the minister, up to 1,700 homes remain without power, with storm debris obstructing emergency response efforts.
“Having Defence on the ground will support the continuing efforts of Victoria’s emergency services and help these communities recover more quickly,” he added.
Minister Dutton said this is yet another example of the ADF’s readiness to support local communities in their time of need.
“Our ADF has never been busier on home soil, helping communities time and time again, whether it be in responding to bushfires, COVID-19, floods or cyclone-ravaged areas in recovery operations, and I am thankful and proud of what they do,” he said.
“The Australian government stands ready to assist the Victorian government and local communities to ensure that they have all the support they need during this difficult time.”
Defence has also deployed personnel and equipment to support foreign emergency responses.
Earlier this month, the ADF sent a C-17A Globemaster aircraft from Perth, carrying medical supplies and PPE equipment to assist with the COVID-19 response in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
This is the latest of a number of deliveries to the subcontinent, with 19 of India’s 36 states and union territories already receiving Australian medical supplies from previous missions, including 3,000 ventilators and 250 oxygen concentrators.
The deliveries form part of the Commonwealth government’s $37.1 million package of support for India, supported by the Indian government, the Indian Red Cross Society and local authorities.
The C-17A Globemaster’s cargo included an eight-tonne oxygen tank, purchased by Indian firm Tata Steel, which is used to store and transport medical oxygen in bulk.
This is in addition to the Indian Air Force’s airlift of other oxygen tanks from Australia on 5 May.
PPE, donated by the West Australian government and delivered to Nepal and Sri Lanka, was also carried by the aircraft, supporting the $7 million in Commonwealth funding for emergency relief to Nepal.