I am terribly saddened by the incident involving a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey helicopter off the coast of Shoalwater Bay yesterday that has led to the loss of three lives.
This is devastating news for the family and friends of the victims.
My thoughts and prayers are with them, and with the service men and women who will no doubt be shattered by this terrible event.
The loss of any Australian or allied troops is always difficult given their commitment to protecting our lives and values.
For the people of Central Queensland it is particularly sorrowful given our close association with the visiting troops.
Local people have welcomed the troops into our community over the last few weeks, and I know they will be particularly mournful that some of these troops won't be making it home.
I can confirm no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft.
The United States are leading the search and recovery effort.
The Minister of Defence has offered Australia's support in anyway that can be of assistance.