[Peakoil] Cyclone Tracey was - Important Announcement

Antony Barry tony at tony-barry.emu.id.au
Tue Feb 28 15:32:31 EST 2006

On 27 Feb 2006, at 10:13 PM, Keith Thomas wrote:

> Remember the magnificent, rule-breaking mobilization to deal with  
> Cyclone Tracey?

For those who are too young to remember I compiled this after Katrina  
for another list -

I remember it well. I woke up on Christmas morning and Darwin had  
blown away. The radio said that a local church was taking donations  
so we loaded all the tinned food we had, bedding and other stuff into  
the car and drove down there. There was a huge queue of people who  
had the same idea. It must have been around midday.  Lance Barnard  
was acting PM at the time Whitlam being in London. The National  
Disasters Organisation headed by Major-General Alan Stretton had just  
been set up. Barnard told him to take charge and sort out the  
legalities later.

Consulting the "Australian Government Digest" V.2 N.4 and V.3 N1 the  
time line goes like this -

Cyclone hits night of 24th

NDO gets sketchy reports early AM that there was extensive damage and  
sets up an information centre

Joint Defense Staff put on standby

Detailed report received verifying response needed

NDO advises Acting PM Barnard of resources needed.

Barnard orders Stretton to Darwin and puts the resources of the  
Department of Defence at his disposal

Barnard asks Gwynn Howells the DG of Health to look after medical needs

BAC111 leaves Canberra with an ACT medical team and Stretton, Flying  
first to Mackay to pick up Rex Patterson the Minister for the  
Northern Territory  thence to Darwin

C130 Hercules leaves Richmond with medical team.

Dept Health organises another medical team in Sydney as does the Navy.

Dept Social Security starts putting together a team of welfare  
workers to go to Darwin.

Dept Transport starts planning to reopening Darwin Airport

PMG looks at restoring communications

RAAF calls all crews to a state of readiness

Red Cross asked to send relief supplies and blood to Air Force bases  
and to coordinate voluntary sector. By nightfall some tons of  
supplies available at bases.

Evacuation planned and housing needs and availability assessed.

By nightfall a C130 full of tarpaulins was on its way via Townsville.

C130 carrying  an Iroquois helicopter for local relief leaves for Darwin

Early am two Navy HS748 aircraft left for Darwin carrying Red Cross  
Workers, blood plasma and other supplies

Dept of Repatriation and Compensation  assembles a team of 65 nurses  
to fly to Darwin. Makes 96 beds available in Repatriation hospitals.  
First 40 casualties arrive.

An RAAF Caribou leaves to provide STOL capability in Darwin

During the day 5 Hercules leave with relief supplies

Evacuation of Darwin announced.

First plane of casualties arrives in Sydney via Hercules

Arrangements made to coordinate information about dead and injured.

Special benefit payments to those affected announced.

US Embassy offers use of a Starlifter and this is accepted. Plane  
arrives at Richmond in the Afternoon. NZ provides a Hercules.

17 trucks of building supplies leave for Darwin.

4 tons of canned goods made available from Commonwealth Hostels being  
shipped to Darwin.

Department of Housing and Construction assembles 227 tradesmen to  
ship to Darwin for Reconstruction and arranges accommodation for  
4,200 people.

PM sends message from London

45 nurses leave for Darwin.

3,000 people evacuated

Work starts on restoring power, water and sewage. Food stock now  

PM Whitlam gets back to Australia and announces emergency payments to  
be made to those evacuated.

PM issues statement summarising what is being done. 7,000 people had  
been evacuated by air via Qantas, Ansett, TAA and the armed forces.

Minister for NT Dr Rex Patterson appointed to coordinate all fund  

Darwin Reconstruction Commission announced to be Chaired by Sir  
Leslie Thiess. Advisory Interim Commission set up pending enabling  

Schedule for the restoration of essential services announced.

Governments with Unions to coordinate volunteers from the Unions.

Emergency ends and NDO passes authority back to the Administrator of NT

Compensation Scheme announced for those who affected.

Special grants announced for Darwin schoolchildren

January 1975
Workforce needed to restore Darwin announced.

Dept Housing and Construction has 1000 of it's own staff and 1,200  
local contractors working in Darwin on reconstruction.
Power restablished to 20 key establishments. Airforce airlifts two  
generator 1350KVA to darwin.
Water supply has reached six million gallons per day and sewage  
restored to areas where water now available.

NDO ceases its coordinating role.

Cyclone compensation survey started

Full generating capacity restored. 18% of Darwin now has power.

Water available to 80% of Darwin

Sewerage restored.

Streets cleared.

Darwin Social welfare Liaison Group established

Ship chartered to house 1,500 rebuilding workforce.

All schools repaired

Citizens' Advisory Committee set up.

Over 1000 buildings repaired.

1,400 building allotments cleared of debris

Four telephone exchanges now operational

Crime rate is lower than before the cyclone

$1m worth of free food distributed

Road, rail and air services back to normal.

The last of seven major RAN ships return from Darwin. At their peak  
there were 3,000 Naval servicemen deployed

200 more troops sent to Darwin bringing the total to 850. The  
contingent is know as Field Force Group Darwin

Planning and development guidelines released

Darwin Relief Trust Fund payments start being made to victims.

Darwin Reconstruction Act 1975 Assented to.

Darwin Reconstruction Commission members appointed.

$58m maid available as compensation to victims.

A concessional home loan scheme set up for those who lost their homes

Emergency furniture assistance scheme set up

Special assistance scheme for car repairs, freight and transport  

phone : 02 6241 7659 | mailto:me at Tony-Barry.emu.id.au
mobile: 04 1242 0397 | http://tony-barry.emu.id.au

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