International flood support arrives in NSW
For the first time in its history the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has requested international assistance to help with the ongoing flood emergency.
Twenty-four personnel from New Zealand will be deployed across inland NSW, with the first 12 arriving in Sydney tonight before flying to Parkes tomorrow morning.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said help from overseas will greatly support local SES crews.
“Australia and New Zealand have a long history of helping each other out in times of need, and this is our time of need,” Ms Cooke said.
“The flooding we continue to experience has been unprecedented and requires an unprecedented level of support, which is why we’re calling upon international flood rescue crews for the first time.
“This will ensure our own volunteers and staff can have appropriate downtime and pace themselves for the flood operations, which we expect will continue for several more months across regional, rural and remote communities.”
SES Commissioner Carlene York thanked New Zealand for providing support to NSW while the State continues to battle widespread flooding.
“Our volunteers have been working tirelessly, taking time off from their own employment and time away from their own families to assist flood affected communities across NSW,” Commissioner York said.
“Our interagency partners not only in NSW but also across the nation have been giving their time and expertise to NSW to support the flood emergency and I can’t thank them enough.
“We still have many months of flood response to go and other States across the country face the risk of cyclones as we head into summer. This means we have exhausted all national resources and now need to call upon international support.”
The SES is currently working with authorities in Singapore and the US to secure additional support.
So far this year, the SES has responded to more than 72,000 requests for assistance and more than 3,400 flood rescues.