Defence supports NT evacuation effort

Joint Media Release

The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Minister for Defence

The Australian Defence Force is assisting the Northern Territory Government to evacuate remote communities in the path of Tropical Cyclone Trevor.

Defence support was requested on Wednesday 20 March by the Northern Territory Government through Emergency Management Australia and close coordination between the agencies continues.

A Joint Task Force of around 200 personnel has been established out of the Australian Army’s 1st Brigade in Darwin to coordinate Defence’s response in supporting the emergency evacuations.

Today three Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules transport aircraft evacuated residents from the cyclone path in East Arnhem Land including Groote Eylandt and McArthur River Mine airfield near Borroloola. A fourth aircraft, a C-17A Globemaster, is on standby to support from RAAF Base Tindal if required.

It is expected the aircraft conducted a number of sorties each throughout the day to evacuate those community members identified by the Northern Territory Government for emergency evacuation.

Residents are urged to seek advice from local authorities regarding evacuation procedures and locations.

Defence maintains a range of short notice domestic disaster relief response options and stands ready to support further requests for assistance from the Northern Territory Government.

Enquiries on the evacuation operation should be directed to the Northern Territory Government.

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