Australia donates $5m, sends more support staff

8:50 pm on 23 February 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced Australia is donating $5 million to the earthquake appeal.

The money will go to the Red Cross fund.

Ms Gillard also announced Australia is sending more help, including a 75-bed field hospital, and six surgical and medical support staff.

Some 300 Australian police being deployed to New Zealand are expected to be there for about a fortnight, including 200 officers from New South Wales to help maintain law and order in Christchurch.

The West Australian government is sending 50 officers.

About 75 emergency rescue workers from Australia are due in Christchurch on Wednesday.

Australian Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan says the teams are self-sufficient and will be rotated after 10 days if required.