Premier Geoff Gallop today cleared the way for Western Australian public servants to take part in relief and reconstruction efforts in countries affected by the South East Asian tsunami disaster.
Prime Minister John Howard will be attending a major emergency summit in Jakarta on Thursday where a strategy for reconstruction will be considered.
Dr Gallop today wrote to Mr Howard, indicating that WA Government personnel would be available, if required, for what was expected to be a massive international operation.
“Our public servants - including police, engineers, medical staff, army reservists and other skilled technicians - have already distinguished themselves in East Timor and other areas devastated by conflict and economic hardship,” the Premier said.
“I have told Mr Howard that we are willing to do whatever is required to address this extraordinary need.”
Dr Gallop was today given an up-to-date briefing on the State’s response to the tsunami.
State agencies have despatched medical staff overseas and been busy counselling people in WA.
There has been daily contact with Federal authorities tasked with co-ordinating the national relief effort.
Dr Gallop praised Western Australians for their generosity in supporting victims of the international tragedy. He said their contributions would add to the $2million financial assistance from the State Government plus the despatch of medical staff and medical equipment and the provision of local counselling services by the Departments of Health and Community Development.
The Premier confirmed he would be attending the non-denominational service at St George’s Cathedral on Wednesday.
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