TC Winston

Australia extends support for Winston recovery

Australian Foreign Minister Hon. Julie Bishop and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne announced yesterday that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) deployment to Fiji under Operation Fiji Assist will transition to a new phase. In a statement released yesterday: Australia will continue to assist Fiji as it moves from response to recovery in the wake of […]

Staff Writers

March 26, 2016 8:53 am

Australian Foreign Minister Hon. Julie Bishop and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne announced yesterday that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) deployment to Fiji under Operation Fiji Assist will transition to a new phase.

In a statement released yesterday:

Australia will continue to assist Fiji as it moves from response to recovery in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Australia’s largest naval vessel, HMAS Canberra, has successfully completed its first
operational deployment and will depart Fiji today (Friday 25th March).

Australian Defence Force command and engineering personnel, vehicles and helicopters will remain in Fiji to conduct assessment activities and deliver assistance.

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Ms Julie Bishop MP, speaks with an Australian Army aircrewman on a Taipan MRH-90 helicopter as a part of Operation Fiji Assist. *** Local Caption *** Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has begun a two-day tour of Fiji, where she will visit deployed Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and meet with Fiji Government officials to discuss Australia's contribution to the international disaster relief effort in response to Tropical Cyclone Winston. Upon arrival in a Royal Australian Air Force C17-A Globemaster on March 13th 2016, Ms Bishop immediately boarded an MRH-90 helicopter to visit Commander Joint Task Force 635, Captain Brett Sonter, (RAN), and the 770 Defence personnel on board HMAS Canberra, currently stationed off Koro Island. Ms Bishop's tour will incorporate a visit to Koro Island where ADF personnel have been working alongside Fiji Government officials, local villagers and Republic of Fiji Military Forces to help communities get back on their feet. Ms Bishop will meet with Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, Fiji Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Mr. Ratu Kubuabola and conduct a tour of the Crisis Response Team as well as Fiji's National Disaster Management Organisation based in Suva, Fiji.
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Ms Julie Bishop MP, speaks with an Australian Army aircrewman on a Taipan MRH-90 helicopter as a part of Operation Fiji Assist. Source: Australian High Commission in Fiji.

Defence force personnel removed debris, restored critical infrastructure, supplied fresh drinking water and delivered lifesaving supplies to the islands of Koro and Taveuni.

More than 1,000 Australian Defence Force and humanitarian personnel have deployed, providing critical assistance, including:

  • delivering over 341 tonnes of humanitarian disaster relief stores
  • supplying 30,000 litres of drinking water
  • delivering nearly 10,000 hygiene kits and over 7,000 shelter kits and
  • repairing seven primary schools, one high school and two medical centres.

Australia has committed $ FJD 23 million in humanitarian assistance to Fiji’s recovery, providing life-saving supplies and access to health services to 200,000 people.

The Australian Defence Force will continue to work with the National Disaster Management Office and in support of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to help Fiji recover from this disaster.

We remain committed to supporting Fiji’s recovery and assisting our friends and neighbours in times of crisis.

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