A network of temporary residential accommodation hubs will be located across three flood-impacted Fitzroy Valley communities, while accommodation for community members with high assistance needs will be provided via a State Government-leased hostel in Derby.
The multi-million dollar support for temporary residential accommodation has been made available through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Impacted people will be accommodated in the residential hubs, which will be provided by Australian-owned company, Humanihut. The Humanihut is a fully integrated portable building system that provides short-term secure and comfortable accommodation in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
The hubs consist of individual climate-controlled huts, dedicated male and female bathrooms and communal kitchen and laundry facilities. Each hut can accommodate between four and eight people, with up to 64 huts available.
The temporary accommodation will be located On Country, or as close to country as possible. The Western Australian Department of Communities is working in consultation with Traditional Landowners and local Community Leaders, to determine safe and culturally appropriate locations to suit residents' needs.
The department is entering into a lease agreement with the Derby Hostel to provide approximately 40 beds for displaced people that may require specialised support.
It is anticipated the accommodation will be operational from early April 2023. More information is available at www.dfes.gov.au/kimberleyfloods
Comments attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt:
"This was a significant disaster with lasting impacts – recovery is going to take a very long time.
"We need to listen to community leaders and residents to understand what is going to work for them.
"Being able to live On Country and near family and community is a critical aspect of recovery, and this temporary accommodation offers the best solution while people's homes are repaired or rebuilt.
"We will keep working very closely with the Western Australian Government and communities on the ground to make sure that the right type of support is delivered at the right time."
Comments attributable to WA Minister for Communities, Sabine Winton:
"This partnership between the Australian and State Governments will ensure hundreds of individuals requiring accommodation assistance as a result of the recent flood events have a safe place to stay for as long as they need.
"Local community consultation has been key throughout the planning phase. We've prioritised community feedback to make sure local views are reflected in the temporary living arrangements available, while the community rebuilds.
"I would like to thank all the emergency service workers and community volunteers who have done so much to support the people of the Kimberley during the worst flood event our State has ever seen."
Comments attributable to WA Minister for Emergency Services, Stephen Dawson:
"Flood affected communities have told us returning home to Country and their communities as soon and as safely as possible is a priority.
"That's why we've been working closely with the Commonwealth Government and local communities to ensure we can provide temporary accommodation that meets their specific cultural needs in the most appropriate locations.
Comments attributable to WA Member for Kimberley, Divina D'Anna:
"It was so important that local knowledge and decision making was appropriately represented in this next phase of the Kimberley flood recovery.
"Place-based solutions are always the best approach, but particularly in times of need.
"The Humanihut solution supports people to remain connected to Country while their homes are rebuilt."
Community Services Minister's office – 6552 6100
Emergency Services Minister's office – 6552 5800