Queensland crews head south as wild weather lashes New South Wales

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced specialist crews from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) will travel to New South Wales (NSW) today in response to the unfolding severe weather event impacting the state.

The Premier said more support would be provided if needed.

“NSW helps us in our hour of need – in floods and more recently in bushfires,” the Premier said.

“Now it is our turn to help.”

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said more than 130 QFES personnel were expected to deploy to NSW as dangerous weather conditions continue.

“We have crews travelling today to help our southern neighbours respond,” Mr Ryan said.

“Forty State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers are deploying with 10 flood boats to bolster response operations at Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree and Newcastle. They’ll be joined by 20 Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) swiftwater rescue technicians. All teams are experienced in water rescue.

“We also have two experienced Incident Management Team officers travelling to Newcastle and two radio communication specialists deployed to support our crews, as well as a liaison officer who will be based at the NSW SES headquarters in Wollongong.

“An additional request for storm damage operators has been received and QFES is currently identifying around 70 SES volunteers to help with this task. They’ll head to Nambucca Heads, Kempsey, Port Macquarie and Taree.

“We’ve seen some devastating images and vision from these areas that show the magnitude of the damage. These crews can work at heights and will primarily undertake storm damage operations, including roof repairs.”

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said QFES crews would be on site in the affected areas from Monday.

“Commissioners across the country met yesterday afternoon and I’m pleased that we can provide such a significant contribution to assist our NSW colleagues, just as they have helped us in recent times,” Mr Leach said.

“Our staff and volunteers will join the massive response efforts from tomorrow and are expected to return home on Friday at this stage.

“We’re closely monitoring the forecasts here in Queensland, but of course if NSW SES needs more assistance, we’ll certainly do our best to help.

“In Queensland, we’re no strangers to the impact severe weather has on communities and we understand what’s required on the ground, so I’m confident our crews will be of great assistance this week.”

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