Defence Support for North-West Queensland Transitions to State Recovery Coordinator
26 February 2019
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has transitioned from all operations in flood-affected north-west Queensland, to ongoing support now being managed by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority in conjunction with the Queensland State Recovery Coordinator.
The ADF Joint Task Force 646, comprising around 150 ADF personnel from the Navy, Army and Air Force, provided the initial major emergency response to the unprecedented flooding disaster that also claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of cattle.
Commander Joint Task Force 646, Brigadier Stephen Jobson said the shift to the State Recovery Coordinator, under the leadership of Major General Stuart Smith (Retired), comes after a carefully planned and coordinated transition period.
“We travelled across the entire region with a team from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to discuss the initial response to the disaster, as well assisting with the council-led Carcass Disposal Strategic Master Plan for five north-west Queensland shires as the clean-up continues,” Brigadier Jobson said.
“The Task Force helped to save cattle in the shires of McKinlay, Richmond, Cloncurry and Carpentaria, and also delivered around 43 tonnes of livestock feed and 42,000 litres of aviation fuel, which enabled farmers and civilian pilots to deliver feed to cattle with their own aircraft.
“It was great to see the national, state and local governments working together with the ADF to ensure the trust and confidence of the community was retained throughout this delicate period.”
The Royal Australian Air Force provided aerial reconnaissance to identify areas needing priority attention and continues to provide aerial imagery to help monitor progress.
Brigadier Jobson praised the work and dedication of Joint Task Force 646 who worked tirelessly to support the people of north-west Queensland.
“The men and women of Joint Task Force 646, have been proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Australians in the north-west region through this challenging time,” Brigadier Jobson said.
“Now it’s time to hand over the ongoing recovery support, activities and response to the professional team undertaking post disaster recovery.”
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999, media [at] defence.gov.au