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DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR WA COMMUNITIES IMPACTED BY SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE CHRISTINE

The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Justice

Mr Joe Francis MLA, WA Minister for Emergency Services

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Western Australian Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis today announced that disaster assistance would be available to WA communities affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Christine.

Mr Keenan said the assistance was being provided under the jointly funded Commonwealth-WA Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements to the communities of the Shires of Ashburton, East Pilbara, Meekatharra and Roebourne and the Town of Port Hedland.

“This type of disaster support includes a number of arrangements to help with recovery costs, and ease the burden on these local communities,” Mr Keenan said.

Mr Francis said Severe Tropical Cyclone Christine resulted in widespread disruption to Pilbara communities, damaging homes, cutting power supplies and causing localised flooding.

“The financial assistance available through this disaster relief fund will be greatly welcomed by residents, business operators and councils hardest hit by the severe weather,” Mr Francis said.

Member for Durack Melissa Price welcomed the announcement and said the assistance was designed to ensure that affected communities can return to normal as soon as possible.

“The Commonwealth will continue to work with the Western Australian Government to ensure that disaster affected communities can recover quickly and that they can respond to future disasters,” Ms Price said.

The range of disaster recovery assistance available subject to eligibility includes: • personal hardship and distress assistance for families and individuals; • interest rate subsidies for small businesses and primary producers; • freight subsidies for primary producers; and • financial assistance for local and state government authorities to assist with the restoration of damaged infrastructure and the provision of counter disaster operations.

WA Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (WANDRRA) is jointly funded by the Federal and Western Australian Governments and administered through the Western Australian Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Information about the range of assistance measures available can be found at http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au or on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au

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