More than 80 soldiers from 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), have started the challenging work of helping Gympie locals clean up after the devastating floods across south-east Queensland.
While other Australian Defence Force units continue to assist with the emergency response along the east coast of Australia, floodwaters in Gympie have receded enough to allow for a damage assessment and clean-up.
Deployed following a request from the local government, the detachment includes specialist transport, engineering and medical staff who are working with local emergency services staff to tackle the worst-affected houses and businesses.
6RAR platoon commander, Lieutenant Mitchell Rutter, and his team worked in tandem with the Rural Fire Service to clear a series of flood-hit homes on the outskirts of Gympie.
“The damage out here has been extensive, so we're just going through it one home at a time," Lieutenant Rutter said.
"We've been clearing away all of the rubble and water-damaged goods and then the Rural Fire Service will come in and hose all the remaining dirt away."
Rural Fire Service officer Darryl Venz, who also served in the Royal Australian Air Force as a technician for two decades, said this year's flood had been one of the worst in his time.
“I've been in the brigade for 23 years and this is the highest floodwaters I've ever seen,” Mr Venz said.
“I spoke to many of the locals and, when they heard that the Army was coming to help, they were extremely grateful.”
The 6RAR deployment also comprised nine vehicles and trailers with equipment and supplie to support the flood assist operation.
Corporal Rebecca Canfield led the convoy of vehicles from Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane to Gympie. She said her team welcomed the opportunity to assist the regional community.
“Where we came from in Brisbane, there was not much damage so to come here to Gympie and see how hard the floods hit makes it all the more rewarding to be able to help,” Corporal Canfield said.
For more Operation Flood Assist 2022 imagery, to the Defence image gallery.