Emergency Management Australia sent a request to the Australian Department of Defence on behalf of the NSW State Emergency Operations Centre to provide Australian Defence Force personnel to support the NSW Police with its response to the COVID-19 situation in Greater Sydney on 29 July 2021.
The ADF would deploy up to 300 Defence personnel in the coming days to assist NSW authorities serving the community, according to Brigadier Michael Garraway, Commander of Task Force 629.
“Defence members will commence deploying today to undertake training over the weekend and start working under the direction of NSW Police,” BRIG Garraway said.
“Our tasks will include assisting NSW police with conducting isolation and welfare checks, supporting NSW police presence patrols, transportation support, and logistics assistance.
“This will be in addition to approximately 250 Australian Defence Force personnel who are already supporting state authorities in New South Wales, with tasks such as quarantine compliance management at hotels and airports.
“Our people are there in support of the NSW Police and civilian authorities, and to serve the community.”
ADF support to the civil community is guided by the Australian constitution. ADF personnel supporting the COVID outbreak in NSW are not authorised as law enforcement officers, nor are they able to enforce health orders.
“Our role is to assist New South Wales authorities do the important work they need to do in order to keep our communities safe,” BRIG Garraway said.
The ADF has worked closely with NSW and federal authorities to support the community, including through bushfires and floods.
Defence continues to work closely with these authorities to ensure Defence resources are allocated efficiently.
Journalist – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Nastasha is a Journalist at Momentum Media, she reports extensively across veterans issues, cyber security and geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific. Previously, she was a Content Producer at Verizon Media, a Digital Producer for Yahoo! 7 and Channel 7, a Digital Journalist at Sky News Australia, as well as a Website Manager and Digital Producer at SBS Australia. She started her career in media as a Video Producer and Digital News Presenter at News Corp Australia.