Developers and Publishers

RAAF - The Royal Australian Air Force

DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE

Sunday, 27 January 2008

003/2008

ARMY BLACK HAWKS TO SUPPORT QUEENSLAND FLOOD RELIEF

The Minister for Defence, Mr Fitzgibbon, today announced that two Black Hawk helicopters are planned to arrive in Emerald this afternoon to lend support to those attempting to recover from some of the worst floods in Queensland history.

This additional assistance follows recent Defence support using two C-130 Hercules to deliver emergency supplies to flood affected areas.

The Black Hawks will join civilian aircraft in a large scale air operation over the next four to five days to provide fodder drops to cattle stranded by floodwaters.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will deploy the two Black Hawk helicopters from the Townsville-based 5th Aviation Regiment.

“Once again our defence forces are doing us proud,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“The Queensland Government requested the assistance on behalf of the families of Emerald, and once again in time of need, the ADF was more than happy to do their bit.

“It is imperative that we do what we can to relieve the huge risk to stock from this natural disaster.

“This is real ‘hands on’ help - looking after the farmers in the region who need it most,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

The military assistance follows an announcement late last week by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments to extend Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

Minister Fitzgibbon said the ADF was working in conjunction with Emergency Management Queensland which is coordinating the relief effort.

“I will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with my ministerial and state based colleagues to ensure any further requests for support is forthcoming,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.



Issued by Coordination and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT