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Disaster assistance for flood-affected communities in WA’s Kimberley

Hon Stephen Dawson – MLC

Disaster recovery assistance is now available to the Shires of Broome and Derby-West Kimberley following a flood event in early February that caused widespread damage throughout northern Western Australia.

Assistance will be provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Large areas of the Kimberley region were impacted by heavy rainfall and strong winds from 1 February 2022 to 4 February 2022 as a Tropical Low moved across Western Australia.

Several rainfall records were nearly broken as thunderstorms disrupted communities in Broome, Derby and surrounding areas.

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the disaster assistance will help impacted individuals, small businesses, primary producers and local councils to get back on their feet as soon as possible.

“More than 320mm of rain poured down in Broome on February 1 – the second-highest February daily total in the town since records began,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Significant damage occurred across Broome-Cape Leveque Road, with a number of local roads also impacted by the event.

“The Australian Government will continue to work closely with the Western Australian Government to support the recovery of the impacted local governments and their communities,” Minister McKenzie said.

Western Australian Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC said State Emergency Service (SES) crews responded to 30 requests for assistance as a result of the flooding.

“SES volunteers received 12 requests for assistance from isolated communities, in addition to requests for medical evacuation, as the tropical low crossed the Kimberley,” Minister Dawson said.

“Fitzroy Crossing was temporarily isolated from outlying communities after major roads, including Great Northern Highway, were closed because of flooding.

“This financial assistance will enable communities in the region to rebuild and restore vital road networks and public assets.”

Assistance available under the DRFA may include:

  • Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged (eligibility criteria apply);
  • Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets;
  • Concessional interest rate loans for directly impacted small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations; and
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers.

Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au.

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