Minister for Foreign Affairs & Minister for Defence - Australian support to Fiji expands

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Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Defence

Media contact
  • Henry Budd (Minister Payne’s office) 0429 531 143
  • Defence Media (02) 6127 1999

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26 February 2016

The Australian Government has sent HMAS Canberra to Fiji as part of Australia’s ongoing support to Fiji in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston. This will be the first deployment of HMAS Canberra in support of an Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operation (HADR) overseas.

HMAS Canberra, with approximately 880 personnel, is expected to arrive in Fijian waters from early next week. This will boost the substantial Australian aid effort in Fiji, which is already providing humanitarian relief to over 40,000 people.

HMAS Canberra is carrying Army engineering assets, three MRH-90 helicopters and approximately 60 tonnes of emergency relief supplies including water purification equipment and medical supplies. This capability will assist Fijian authorities to clear debris, restore power, purify water and conduct engineering assessments.

Since Australia’s relief efforts began, eight RAAF C-17A Globemaster and C-130J Hercules sorties to Fiji have delivered personnel, equipment and approximately 84 tonnes of humanitarian aid and equipment. RAAF AP-3C Orion surveillance aircraft also remain deployed to Fiji to conduct aerial assessments.

To support the civilian-led assistance, a Joint Task Force of Australia’s Navy, Army and Air Force has been formed to coordinate the strategic sea and airlift of humanitarian supplies.

Around 100 Defence personnel have already been deployed to Fiji as part of Operation FIJI ASSIST 2016. With the arrival of HMAS Canberra’s there will be approximately 1,000 ADF personnel deployed.

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