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Defence & COVID-19 Update

Nationally, approximately 900 personnel are deployed as part of Operation COVID-19 Assist.

The Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, announced Operation COVID-19 Assist on April 1, 2020.

Current nation-wide Defence support includes:

Contact tracing and planning support teams to all state and territory governments.

Supporting law enforcement agencies with mandatory quarantine arrangements.

The ADF will not be authorised as law enforcement officers as this remains the responsibility of the states and territories.

Additionally, the ADF:

Has established the three-star-led COVID-19 task force to coordinate Defence’s internal response to COVID-19 and support the whole-of-government effort.

Is supporting Emergency Management Australia-led (EMA) planning for the National Communicable Disease Incidence of National Significance Plan in response to COVID-19.

Is supporting the Department of Health with logistics and specialist staff.

Has provided health, logistics and movements support to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Border Force repatriation and care of Australian Nationals on Christmas Island and Howard Springs via RAAF bases Learmonth and Darwin.

Has been supplying clinical and epidemiological support to the Department of Health National Incident Room since early February 2020.

About 100 ADF and Defence APS personnel are embedded in various Australian Government agencies, including the Department of Home Affairs and Services Australia.

State-by-state breakdown

*Note: Personnel in Joint Task Group headquarters, supporting roles, and those preparing for tasks are included in overall state-based figures but are not captured in the list of tasks.

Queensland – 397 personnel

145 ADF personnel are supporting state police with Queensland border controls.

74 personnel are supporting self-isolation compliance chec

62 personnel are providing support to Queensland Police to protect Indigenous communities.

48 personnel are supporting state police with the reception of international arrivals at airports.

New South Wales – 146 personnel

110 ADF personnel are supporting state police quarantine and self-isolation directions at Sydney Airport, local hotels and residences.

Northern Territory – 80 personnel

35 ADF personnel are providing support to Northern Territory Police to protect Indigenous communities.

Western Australia – 40 personnel

13 ADF personnel are providing planning support.
Victoria – 39 personnel

12 ADF personnel are providing planning support.
South Australia – 23 personnel

Australian Capital Territory – 7 personnel

Tasmania – 5 personnel

Defence is currently managing 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the locations illustrated above.

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