In an Australian first, the Federal Government has deployed emergency accommodation to Far North Queensland’s hardest hit communities impacted by severe rainfall and flooding from Ex Tropical Cyclone Jasper.

A convoy of Humanihut containers arrived in Cairns in early January, with the emergency shelter being transported to the flood-hit town of Ayton on barges, including an Australian Defence Force LCM8 landing craft.

It is the first time the Albanese Government has deployed the Commonwealth owned Humanihut emergency shelters.  The Humanihuts are a key part of the National Emergency Management Stockpile (NEMS) of disaster response and relief resources, developed by the Albanese Government for the first time, and accessible by states and territories when requested.

The deployment is in response to a request for assistance from the Queensland Government and will be positioned and operated by state and local authorities.

The emergency shelters have off-grid capability with their own power, potable water and waste-water storage.

The Humanihuts enable the Queensland Government and councils to use this capability to support recovery efforts, with authorities having access to 32 huts and 6 bathrooms.

An additional accessibility bathroom and laundry facility is part of the capability. Each hut has its own climate control system, lighting and power and can sleep up to 4 people.

This makes it possible for up to 128 beds to support the communities and relief workers of Wujal Wujal, Degarra and Ayton as they recover from the impacts of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper.

The deployment marks a significant milestone in how the Australian Government supports states and territories in a crisis.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt:

“The deployment of NEMA’s emergency shelter camp will support the important work the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Disaster Relief Australia and other organisations are already doing in response to this disaster."

“It’s really positive to see everyone else rolling their sleeves up to help clean up."

“These shelters will ensure we can accommodate the essential workers who are helping rebuild communities and mean more displaced residents have access to a roof over the head.“

This support comes on top of the assistance the Australian Defence Force have provided in the initial phase, and the millions of dollars we have committed and paid out in financial assistance both directly and jointly with the Queensland Government through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements."

“We’re really excited to see this happen and I want to thank everyone involved to make this a possibility."

Quotes attributable to Humanihut Managing Director, Neale Sutton:

"Humanihut is pleased to be supporting the relief effort in Far North Queensland as part of NEMA's and the Queensland Government's response for those impacted by the recent cyclone.

"NEMA's National Emergency Management Stockpile is already meeting the need for which it was established.

The partnership of all response agencies has been critical to allow a rapid response to the needs of those on the ground, rebuilding communities.

"Together, these challenges are being overcome on a daily basis to provide the support required as quickly as possible."

More information on the NEMS and the Australian Government’s support to Disaster Relief Australia is available on the National Emergency Management Agency’s website.