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Australia Defence Support To Victims in Bali

Defence Support To Victims Of Bali Bombing

As part of the response to last night's bombings in Bali, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is deploying specialist medical personnel and aircraft to Bali and Darwin to assist in the support to those who have been affected.

Senator Hill said that whilst the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is leading the whole of government response, Defence is playing a major role in the relief operation.

"Australian Embassy and consulate staff are working closely with the Indonesian authorities to establish what assistance is required in the affected area. Their advice will be passed back to Australia to enable the Government to make further decisions" the Minister said.

"Defence has already provided a Medical Assistance Team (MAT) of three personnel in support of the Government's Emergency Response Team. This team deployed by civilian air to Bali and is due in location at approximately 1330hr local time.

This team will provide triage and on site assessment of casualties, and provide additional planning guidance for further ADF support requirements as required."

"Additionally, a further ADF surgical team, a medical staging facility, and a small coordination element have been deployed from Richmond in NSW to Darwin aboard Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130 aircraft.

The additional medical team will consist of specialists including skilled ADF doctors (anaesthetists and surgeons) and nurses. Several of these will be ADF Reservists."

Senator Hill said that a number of additional C-130 aircraft are already on standby in Darwin, awaiting decisions as to the need to deploy them. "Based on the advice from Australian and Indonesian officials on the ground in Bali, we expect to be able to make decisions by this evening on the need to deploy these further assets".

"The ADF is highly trained in dealing with such situations" Senator Hill said. "Regrettably, many of these aircraft and their air and medical crews have been called upon for similar missions in the past, such as the recent tsunami in Indonesia, the tidal wave in Papua New Guinea in 1999 and the previous Bali Bombings in October 2002."

A DFAT crisis hotline is established at 1800 002 214 for any member of the public inquiring on family who are currently in the region.

ENDS

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