Borroloola Repatriations Complete

NT Government

Around 280 evacuees have returned to Borroloola today, 10 days after their community was threatened by flooding from the McArthur River, in the wake of Cyclone Megan.

Three buses left Darwin last night, each carrying about 50 passengers, for an overnight journey home. Rest breaks and meals were provided as well as on-board amenities being available for passengers. This journey was timed so that travel on the Carpentaria Highway would be during daylight and the evacuees would also arrive home during the day. The buses arrived in Borroloola at 9am today.

Today, two Air North charter flights carried about 150 people – mostly elderly, medically vulnerable and families with very young children – to McArthur River Mine, where they were transferred to buses for the short drive back to Borroloola.

Incident Controller Neil Hayes said, “The evacuees were very glad to be going home. A number of evacuees who were scheduled to fly home chose to go by bus last night, which we were able to accommodate.

“There remain about 60 evacuees who did not take advantage of the transport home. They are now responsible for making their own arrangements and are encouraged to contact the Larrakia Nation Return to Country program.

“With the return of the evacuees to their home community, the response phase to Tropical Low 09U – Cyclone Megan is over and we move to the recovery phase to fully restore the community to ‘business as usual’.

“Hundreds of personnel from all tiers of government, non-government organisations, the private sector and volunteers have been working around the clock to protect the Territory since Cyclone Megan started to develop three weeks ago.”

/Public Release. View in full here.