The Mid-North-Coast to South of Sydney NSW experienced a sustained extreme weather event that set in on 19 March 2021 and continued until 25 March 2021 across many areas. This natural disaster brought record levels of rainfall in some areas, leading to extensive flooding and evacuation orders. Properties were inundated as the river peaked at 5.65 metres, falling just short of the historical high of 6 metres in 1929.
In response, Disaster Relief Australia (DRA), conducted a flood recovery operation in the area of the Port Macquarie – Hastings and Mid Coast Council areas named Operation Elliot, commencing on 10 April 2021. Devastated communities and overwhelmed homeowners are looking at months of hard work to restore their livelihoods and bring back hope.
The assistance provided by DRA has gone a long way to help these homeowners in kickstarting their recovery. Jobs included mucking out mud, removing extensive rubbish and debris, clearing access to properties, chainsaw work, fence line repairs and aerial damage assessments. Our members rolled up their sleeves, got dirty and provided real hands-on help where it was needed over the 5-week operation.
Flood Recovery Mid-North-Coast NSW
Area of Operations
Port Macquarie – Hastings LGA
Recovery Taskings for Operation Elliot
As part of Operation Elliot, DRA provided the following capabilities:
- Damage and Impact Assessments
- Chainsaw work and tree removal
- Flood recovery tasks including debris management and removal
- Route clearance.
The story behind the name
As part of its respect to military veterans, Disaster Relief Australia names its relief operations after a local veteran in honour of their service to the community, and in turn ours.
Operation Elliot is named for Major Alban Charles Elliot, a war hero awarded the Military Cross and served as Mayor of Port Macquarie from 1925 until 1936. Service Elliot enlisted in World War I in September, 1915. Three of his brothers were killed in action across both wars. He served on the Western Front with the 53rd Battalion 14th Brigade, 5th Australian Division and was promoted to Lieutenant on January 26, 1917.
Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty
He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry for the operations and attack on Polygon Wood in 1917. At one point in the operation, the battalion was heavily shelled and its medic was unable to tend the several casualties. Elliot stepped in and personally attended to the wounded. Later, with his commanding officer a casualty, Elliot continued to direct the attack despite being shelled.
According to the AIF military records: ‘When the objective was reached, he personally organised and led a party to the old front line for ammunition, this he repeated on two occasions although the enemy were shelling the area through which he had to pass’. He also organised and led a party to bring in German machine guns and ammunition which were used against the enemy.
Port Macquarie notable personality
Major Alban Charles Elliot is remembered exceptionally well in the Port Macquarie region. Alban became Port Macquaries’s longest serving Mayor over 11 consecutive years. He was the first President of the Port Macquarie RSL sub branch. A series of surf boats carried his initials ‘ACE’ for several years.
In his obituary in the Port Macquarie News of Friday September 1, 1978, it was noted: that he was one of the most notable personalities to ever live in Port Macquarie. “To see him in action in Port Macquarie, it is easy to see the leadership qualities that won him the Military Cross”. Major Alban Charles Elliot is laid to rest at the Port Macquarie General Cemetery with his beloved wife and son
Work orders completed
Saved by the community
Flood Recovery Mid-North-Coast NSW
DRA’s Flood Recovery Operation in the Port Macquarie, Hastings LGA .