25 March 2022
More than 450 personnel from the dedicated Australian Defence Force (ADF) unit supporting the Ipswich community in the flood clean-up are in the process of returning home.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said ADF Task Units Eagle and Heeler played an enormous role in assisting Ipswich City Council and the Ipswich community.
“Seeing the ADF on the ground was a boost to many who faced the mammoth task of clearing out their sodden belongings from their homes these past weeks,” Mayor Teresa Harding said.
“The ADF assisted with the clearing of 130 homes, 31 community facilities, and supported the opening of 16 roads within Ipswich.
“We couldn’t be more grateful for their hard work and we thank them for their service.”
Mayor Harding said at the peak of the operation, more than 1600 ADF personnel were providing community assistance to south-east Queensland, with many of those hailing from Ipswich.
“RAAF Base Amberley is the largest airbase in Australia and of the 450 personnel assisting with the flood clean-up, 230 are based here in Ipswich,” Mayor Harding said.
“The troops I spoke to said that the resilience shown by those people directly impacted by flooding was truly inspirational to them and the gratitude expressed by the Ipswich community had been a humbling experience.
“ADF personnel worked alongside council with dedicated liaison officers embedded within the Local Disaster Coordination Centre, allowing for a common operating picture.
“Council was able to assist them with knowledge of the local terrain, and in turn they updated our intel as they conducted reconnaissance duties.”
The ADF removed more than 450 truckloads of water-damaged items and flood debris from across Ipswich (more than one truckload per ADF team member) and provided machinery and personnel to support clean-up in Colleges Crossing recreation reserve.
Major General David Thomae presented the people of Ipswich with a flag found in flood rubble in Brassall and salvaged by Defence personnel.
“This flag will serve as an enduring symbol of the close partnership between council and ADF in the flood relief effort,” Mayor Harding said.