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Australia: Fires

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 14th January 2020.

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Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party, East Lothian

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what requests for (a) aid and (b) assistance have been received from the Australian Government in respect the ongoing bush fires in that country; and what (i) aid and (ii) assistance the Government is providing.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon have been in contact with their Australian counterparts to offer our condolences and stress our readiness to help in whatever way they need.

As I set out in my Oral Statement of 9 January in the House of Commons, we have deployed a team of UK experts to Australia.

The team includes a senior member of UK Fire and Rescue Service, a medical specialist in trauma and mental health, and a military liaison officer specialising in crisis response.

They will work with Australian counterparts to establish what further UK support will be of most use to Australian emergency responders, and ensure that such contributions are fully integrated with Australian efforts.

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