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Australian Government commits help to find man missing in North Queensland bush.



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ATTORNEY -GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parl iament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone (02) 6277 7300 • Fax (02) 6273 4102 w w w.ag .gov.au / a g

7 August 2007 166 /2007

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT COMMITS HELP TO FIND MAN MISSING IN NORTH QUEENSLAND BUSH

Defence force personnel have been tasked to assist emergency services officers in a ground search for a missing person in Far North Queensland.

A 53-year old man has failed to return to the Silver Plains Station about 50 km east of the township of Coen since last Thursday. An extensive search by Emergency Management Queensland and local State Emergency Service staff using helicopters, four-wheel drive vehicles and horseback has so far not been successful in locating the man.

The Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has approved Emergency Management Australia to task the Australian Defence Force to conduct search operations with ground personnel over a 60 square kilometre area with difficult terrain, dense vegetation and reported crocodiles.

“I understand that with civilian resources exhausted in the search to date, that search coordinators want to continue looking for at least another 72 hours (three days),” Mr Ruddock said. “So ADF search teams are to be deployed into the requested area as soon as possible to complete the search operations.”

“It is considered that self-sufficient ADF teams, comprising professional trackers, are the most appropriate to conduct searching in this heavily vegetated area.”

Media contact: Sarah Stock, Mr Ruddock’s office, 0419 278 715