Chief of Defence Force visits troops of the Emergency Support Force
3 March 2015
Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin visited troops deployed to the Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Byfield regions on February 26 to thank them for their support in cleaning up after Cyclone Marcia.
CDF praised the troops from the Army's 3rd and 11th Brigades for their efforts in assisting State Emergency Service personnel, local contractors and members of the community.
"The troops have done a fantastic job. The guys and girls are doing really well, just talking to the mayors of the various towns here, they are very, very grateful for the work that we've done," Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
CDF also inspected damage in Rockhampton before flying to Byfield in an MRH-90 Taipan helicopter.
"I think the fact that we’ve been very proactive in getting out to the community is great.
"The 3rd Brigade have come such a long way to do it and Byfield was their own initiative for helping a community in need," Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
"Defence Aid to the Civil Community tasks are really important for a lot of reasons. We bring the initial response that the community has a hard time generating but more than anything we bring moral support and stability."
The Prime Minster Tony Abbott also travelled to north Queensland and met several troops during his visit to Yeppoon and Rockhampton.
"It's been a tough week, it does take its toll, but it's fantastic to see the Australian Army, in uniform, with the heavy equipment, out on the streets, here to support local people."
"I do as always pay tribute to the armed forces of the country, you are there for us, you are there for us at home and abroad, whenever we are in trouble," Prime Minster Abbott said.
"The Australian military are very very quick to put up their hand and say let us at it, so well done. It's great to see you on the streets and it's great to have your support."
The Army engineers will focus efforts this week in Byfield, north of Yeppoon, clearing fire breaks for State Emergency Services, as well as in Ergon where they are assisting in the restoration of power services.
In Rockhampton, the engineers are clearing the Botanic Gardens of dead fall to help the city prepare for ANZAC Day commemorations.
The Emergency Support Force has been extended until 13 March.