ADF support and temporary accommodation for Far North Queensland disaster recovery

Department of Home Affairs

Joint media release with the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Senator Nita Green

The Albanese Government is supporting the recovery effort in Far North Queensland (FNQ), following ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper.


At the request of the Queensland Government, Australian Defence Force personnel will be deployed to assist Queensland authorities in the Douglas, Cook and Wujal Wujal regions.


Two Australian Army CH-47F Chinook helicopters and a landing craft will transport supplies and deliver engineering equipment into isolated communities in the coming days. Additionally, personnel and equipment, including front end loaders, will help clear access and larger scale debris. 

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed more than 30 Disaster Relief Australia personnel to the region to assist with the recovery work on the ground.


In recent weeks, ADF personnel have been on the ground assisting in the evacuation of flood-stricken communities in the Cairns northern beaches and Wujal Wujal and with the transport of emergency services personnel to Cairns from Townsville. 


Since then, Defence has also provided two ADF planners to Cairns to provide specialised support to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.


The Government’s new National Emergency Management Stockpile will also be activated for the first time since being established late last year.


This will provide temporary worker accommodation for emergency services and contractors near Bloomfield, and for FNQ communities if needed.


The Albanese Government, through NEMA purchased a self-sufficient turnkey emergency shelter solution. Humanihut has been contracted to manage, maintain and deploy the emergency shelters.


The creation of this stockpile is a first for Australia, and is a major step forward in ensuring Australia is better prepared for natural disasters in the future.


Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:


“Recovery efforts are well underway, and all levels of government are working closely together.

“But we know there’s still a long recovery ahead. Roads have been completely washed away, access is limited and communities have been isolated for weeks.

“In partnership with the Queensland Government, we continue to support affected communities. Our Government has senior staff from our National Emergency Management Agency on the ground in Far North Queensland to help coordinate, and will continue to provide support as needed.”

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Defence, Matt Thistlethwaite:


“Defence stands ready to support our emergency services and communities in response to natural disasters.

“The ADF has provided vital evacuation support, particularly in Wujal Wujal, during ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper. With this additional support we look forward to helping these remote communities make good recovery progress before monsoon season hits.

“The work to date has been significant, and the Albanese Government is working shoulder to shoulder with the Queensland Government and local Councils to ensure help can get to where it’s needed.”


Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt:


“Last night we received the request to activate the ADF, and I’m pleased the request was able to be accepted within hours, so that more help can be delivered as quickly as possible.

“The temporary accommodation from the National Emergency Stockpile is a major first for Australia, and I’m pleased it can be used to help workers on the ground in Far North Queensland, and residents if needed.

“The work done by SES, Councils, State personnel, volunteers, local ranger groups and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has been incredible, and I thank them all.

“Significant recovery work is now underway but this is a major disaster, made more challenging because of the remoteness and accessibility to some areas.”

Quotes attributable to Senator for Queensland, Nita Green:


“This will be welcome news to communities in remote parts of Far North Queensland.

“I visited the Douglas region last week and saw first hand the difficulties caused by precarious road access and damaged infrastructure. 

“This additional ADF support comes at an important time. With the wet season on the way this announcement comes at just the right time for our region to help build back better and stronger in the future.”

/Public Release. View in full here.