Army pitches in to help with mas­sive clean-up

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

THEY’VE been walk­ing the grounds, fly­ing in our skies and they’re here on a mis­sion – to help the Whit­sun­days re­cover from dev­as­tat­ing Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie.

The Aus­tralian Army ar­rived from Bris­bane and Townsville on Thurs­day to pro­vide dis­as­ter re­lief.

Of­fi­cer com­mand­ing the Army En­gi­neer Forces Em­bark Ma­jor Fabian Har­ri­son said sup­port­ing the re­gion was a pri­or­ity.

“The lo­cal gov­ern­ment has taken con­trol of task­ing and we’re work­ing in sup­port of SES and lo­cal con­trac­tors,” he said.

“Our main aim is to en­able the lo­cal gov­ern­ment to re-es­tab­lish an ef­fec­tive strat­egy to sup­port them.”

About 70 de­fence per­son­nel in Proser­pine and about 70 in Air­lie Beach have been help­ing to clear de­bris, clear and open roads and pro­vide fresh wa­ter to those who don’t have it.

He said it was “pretty dis­heart­en­ing” to see the dam­age caused.

“We’re proud of our abil­i­ties to help those peo­ple who need it,” he said.

Troops have set up camp in Proser­pine, Con­way, Shute Har­bour and on their ship.

❝ We’re proud of our abil­i­ties to help those peo­ple who need it. — Ma­jor Har­ri­son

PHOTO: JU­LIAN SMALL­WOOD

RE­COV­ERY MIS­SION: The Aus­tralian Army ar­rived in the Whit­sun­days on Thurs­day to pro­vide dis­as­ter re­lief.

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