A further 1,000 Australian Defence Force personnel will be deployed to Victoria to support the State’s coronavirus response.
Since the offer from the Commonwealth Government of additional resources was accepted on Sunday, the Victorian Government has been working with the Emergency Management Commissioner and the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police to determine their best use.
The additional ADF support will be deployed across the following areas, based on need:
- State Control Centre planning, logistics and intelligence reporting;
- Public health response focusing on contact tracing data management and analysis, information flow as well as the allocation and tracking of tasks and the onboarding staff to undertake interviews;
- Support for supply and logistics to ensure physical care packages such as food and toys and other essential supplies are provided to public housing residents;
- Support focusing on testing in metro, regional/rural and tourist locations;
- Assisting relevant agencies with community engagement focusing on community awareness and outreach, particularly in high risk areas as well as critical infrastructure and regional workplaces;
- Partnering with Ambulance Victoria paramedic response crews to expand Ambulance Victoria’s response capabilities by providing personnel to act as a second crew member that can support paramedics at scenes and drive back to hospital;
- Compliance checking to support Victoria Police’s enforcement of the Chief Health Officer’s stay at home orders;
- Surge capacity as required in relation to vehicle check points.
It is expected this will see the current contingent of over 400 personnel remain in Victoria for at least the duration of the Stage 3 restrictions set to conclude on Wednesday 19 August. The extra 1,000 ADF personnel will begin to deploy in coming days and it is expected this will continue over the next four weeks.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Commonwealth Government would continue to work with Victoria to support the state’s response to the deadly virus.
“We will help Victoria with whatever it takes to save lives and to save livelihoods,” the Prime Minister said.
“Our highly trained ADF personnel will work alongside state authorities to surge support for Victoria to ensure they get the backing they need to help respond to the situation. This is a serious situation facing not just Victoria, but the whole country.”
Premier Daniel Andrews thanked the Commonwealth and other states for their continued support and collaboration to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
“This is a public health bushfire – just as we help out other states in summer, help is coming from across the nation now, including Australian Defence Force personnel in addition to the strong support provided over recent months – and we are grateful for that,” the Premier said.
“As all Victorians work together to follow the rules they should be assured we have a massive team working around the clock to keep every Victorian family safe.”
At the request of the Victorian Government, the Commonwealth through the National Cabinet last week also agreed to extend the cancellation of all scheduled international passenger airline services to Victoria until further notice.