The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will increase its support to fire authorities, deploying additional specialist personnel to advise Incident Controllers at Fire Control Centres in New South Wales.
Planning will also begin for the recovery effort to access and clean-up affected areas, which could involve support from the ADF, if requested by NSW state authorities.
“This deployment will see Defence Liaison Officers positioned at all 14 Incident Control Centres in New South Wales with a list of equipment and support that can be made available. This will include bulldozers, bulk water carriers and troops,” the Prime Minister said.
“We’ll continue to do everything in our power to ensure our fireys have the resources and support they need.
“We’ve already got our Defence Forces providing helicopter search and rescue, ground transport, accommodation, meals and re-fuelling. We’ve boosted our support for water bombing planes and helicopters by $11 million.
“Disaster recovery payments of $23 million have also flowed to affected families and businesses with more to come.
“My Ministers and I remain in constant contact with our state and territory counterparts and fire chiefs and we stand ready to deliver whatever extra help they ask of us.”
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds CSC said enhancing its liaison network will enable the ADF to continue providing extensive support to State emergency services.
“These additional liaison staff will embed with Fire Control Centres across NSW to advise their NSW Rural Fire Service counterparts and help coordinate ADF logistical and engineering support,” Minister Reynolds said.
“All three services of the ADF continue to provide significant behind the scenes support to firefighting efforts across the nation, including aerial fire reconnaissance; helicopter search and rescue; logistical support such as ground transport; providing meals for exhausted firefighters; as well as basing, re-fuelling, water re-supply, loading fire retardant and air traffic management for firefighting aircraft.
“Navy helicopters have helped with evacuating residents from their homes, Army crews have provided assistance with clearing fire breaks, while our Air Force bases are supporting the state Large Aerial Tanker fleet.
“This behind the scenes support from the ADF frees up more of our firefighters to perform their specialised roles fighting the fires.”
Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, the Hon. David Littleproud MP offered his congratulations.
“This is another great example of how the bushfire response has been coordinated between all levels of Government,” Minister Littleproud said.
“They’ll be wearing two different uniforms but have one objective, protecting Australians and their property.”
The Federal Government stands ready to deploy whatever further assistance State and Territory authorities request to manage this disaster.
Details of ADF’s support to the firefighting effort is updated daily here: https://news.defence.gov.au/national/defence-continues-bushfire-support