The Federal Government has today announced it will deploy a squadron of up to 70 defence force veterans and retired emergency service workers across South-East Queensland to assist with the damage cleanup from the recent storms.
At the request of the Queensland Government, the Federal Government has activated Disaster Relief Australia (DRA), a not-for-profit organisation that unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders and civilian volunteers to aid disaster recovery operations around the country.
Federal Emergency Management Minister, Murray Watt said DRA would hit the ground running in the worst affected areas, including around the northern Gold Coast, Mt Tamborine and Jimboomba.
“Disaster Relief Australia bring defence expertise to a recovery operation through their veteran volunteers,” he said.
“We have seen them successfully respond to disasters for the past six years now right across the country, from the Gulf to Lismore and plenty of places in between.
“I have no doubt that they will provide great value in assisting the Queensland Government to cleanup after such damaging storms, and hopefully get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
Minister Watt said the ADF had an important role to play in keeping Australia safe.
“Of course they will always be on standby as a force of last resort when people are in danger, as we saw when they were recently deployed in response to the Far North Queensland floods.”
“But it’s important we supplement the work the ADF currently does, to ensure they can remain focused on their core role of defending Australia.
“The important work DRA does will not only get communities back on their feet sooner, but also keep us safer,” the Minister said.
It is expected that DRA personnel will assist State emergency services with the removal of fallen trees and vegetation debris, stabilisation of damaged trees and buildings and the clearance of debris from roadways and access to homes and buildings.