Hon Stephen Dawson MLC

Hon Stephen Dawson MLC

Minister for Emergency Services; Innovation and ICT; Medical Research; Volunteering

    Joint media statement - Disaster assistance for farming communities in WA’s Wheatbelt

    23/03/2022 12:00 PM

    Disaster recovery assistance is now available to impacted communities in the Shires of Corrigin and Bruce Rock after two bushfires tore through Western Australia's Wheatbelt region in February.


    Assistance will be provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), ensuring local government, individuals and families are supported in their recovery journey.


    The bushfires that began on February 6, burnt through more than 45,000 hectares, with the Shires of Corrigin and Bruce Rock bearing the brunt of the impact.


    Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said it was important that impacted communities received support during their recovery.


    "These bushfires burnt for several days and caused a significant amount of damage to local communities," Minister McKenzie said.


    "Future farm productivity could be diminished by loss of grain for stock feed and seed for planting crops, while the damage to native trees and shrubs will have future impacts on the local ecosystem.


    "By activating the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, we can ensure that our communities that were affected by these bushfires can expedite their recovery and get back on their feet as quickly as possible," Minister McKenzie said. 


    Hundreds of local volunteer firefighters and strike teams from surrounding areas fought to contain the blaze amid searing temperatures and strong winds.  


    The extraordinary efforts of emergency services saw the bushfires contained and controlled by February 10 but both incidents caused significant damage to community and agricultural infrastructure.


    Western Australian Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC said the bushfires required a coordinated multi-agency and community response to protect lives and properties.


    "Temporary evacuation centres were established in both Corrigin and Pingelly for people who needed to leave their homes," Minister Dawson said.


    "About 100 people initially presented to the evacuation centres, while Babakin Primary School was closed for several days while the fire was brought under control.


    "These bushfire events have seen people experience ongoing stress and anxiety, however, their resilience and response as a community continue to be strong.


    "The Shires of Corrigin and Bruce Rock should be commended for their important recovery efforts to date.


    "Both the Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments will work with those impacted to ensure they have support during this difficult time."


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


    WA Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 5800