ADF sets up frontline post
FORCES PERSONNEL HELPING GV FAMILIES AND HEALTH STAFF IN TESTING TIMES, DELIVERING VITAL SUPPLIES
Australian Defence Force personnel have been checking on the welfare of isolating families and delivering food parcels as part of Operation COVID Assist.
Commanding Officer of the COVID-19 Joint Task Group Victoria Brigadier Matthew Burr said 80 ADF personnel from Australian army and navy forces were now engaged in assisting Goulburn Valley Health staff with testing, logistics after marshalling at the Showgrounds on Friday.
Brig Burr said his team would also be assisting the Victorian Department of Health workers in their Household Engagement Program, which involves house-tohouse welfare checks and quarantine compliance monitoring.
He said food relief and hamper drops would also be part of the task force’s role.
He said ADF personnel would be helping community groups and relief agencies, and would also be able to provide information and contact details for support services to people at home under quarantine rules.
Brig Burr said the army and navy personnel in Shepparton had come from across Australia after passing through state territory controls, testing and isolation.
He said ADF personnel would remain in Shepparton until the health department no longer required assistance.
‘‘When conditions allow, we will redeploy our assets back to other locations across the state,’’ Brig Burr said.
He said more than 5000 ADF personnel had been deployed across Victoria to assist with COVID-19 duties during the past year. He said 300 were operating across the state.
Brig Burr praised the work already carried out by health staff in the Shepparton region.
‘‘I’ve got to say the work that’s been done that’s been done here locally has been outstanding. We’ve supported Shepparton twice last year with these type of tasks, so we’re quite confident we can assist this time around as well,’’ he said.
He said his ADF team had plenty of experience in working with multicultural communities such as Shepparton.
‘‘We work with diverse communities right across Victoria, and Shepparton is another community that has always welcomed us back, and we’ll continue to work confidently with all the people of Shepparton,’’ he said.