The State Government today announced that certain areas throughout Western Australia had been declared a natural disaster zone following the severe flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Clare.
Acting Premier Eric Ripper and Emergency Services Minster Michelle Roberts today inspected some of the flood-damaged areas surrounding Lake Grace, Greenough and Walkaway. Flooding has also occurred across the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne Regions.
Mr Ripper said the declaration, which was made under the WA Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements (WANDRA), was important to ensure that every possible assistance was provided to those in need.
“We are moving quickly to provide assistance to many regional Western Australians affected by the recent cyclone and associated flooding,” he said.
“The extent of damage will not be known until a full assessment has been completed. However, initial cost estimates for residential, farming and infrastructure are in excess of $3million.”
Mrs Roberts said the cyclone had caused widespread flooding in various locations including the Wheatbelt Region, Lake Grace, Halls Creek, Greenough (Walkaway), Quairading and other localities yet to be confirmed.
The Minister said under the WANDRA arrangement, the State provided assistance in specific areas of need with financial help from the Commonwealth Government.
“The Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) is working closely with Government agencies and local government, both to assess and satisfy the immediate needs of these communities,” she said.
“Under the disaster relief program, we are looking at providing immediate help to individuals and families whose homes have been made uninhabitable and, in the longer term, some assistance to primary producers.”
Mrs Roberts paid tribute to the efforts of all the emergency services and also praised members of the affected communities.
”Once again, Western Australia has seen a professional and timely response by our dedicated emergency personnel,” she said.
“The cyclone and flood operations conducted to date have been incredibly successful in helping to minimise injury and loss of property.
“Members of affected communities are also to be commended for being cyclone-prepared and pitching in to help the SES with sand-bagging to help stem floodwaters. It has been a fantastic all-round effort.”
Primary producers seeking loan assistance can contact the Department of Agriculture on 1800 198 231 or (08) 9368 3160.
All other inquiries can be directed to FESA on (08) 9323 9815.
Acting Premier's office: 9222 8788
Minister for Emergency Services office: 9213 6600