July 27, 2015
Over the weekend, the north-west was battered by Cyclone Olwyn. Towns like Denham, Shark Bay, Coral Bay, Exmouth and Carnarvon were all impacted by winds of up to 200 kilometres per hour. The most impacted, however, was the town of Carnarvon, in particular, the 150-odd plantation owners whose plantations have been severely damaged. I expect some time today that the Western Australian state government will declare Carnarvon is eligible for NDRRA funding. Once that occurs, the federal government will contribute 50 per cent of the NDRRA funds.
The NDRRA will cover costs such as personal hardship grants, small business low-interest rate loans and local government clean-up costs. In addition to this, the federal government will also provide farm household allowance for eligible farmers and families and disaster recovery allowance for income lost due to the cyclone. I would like to pay tribute to the local council which is led by Karl Brandenburg. The local council have moved swiftly to clean up the mess that was left by the cyclone, and I want to congratulate this very resilient town for the way in which it has approached the clean-up. The town will quickly get itself back on its feet just in time for the tourist season. However, the plantation owners will take a little longer. I want to pay tribute to the Vietnamese leaders in Carnarvon and thank Kim Nguyen and Gia Phan for taking the time on Sunday to show me some of the badly impacted plantations, including infrastructure. I would also like to thank Tami Maitre for her time. I am very proud of all the community leaders and, in particular, the federal government for the role that it has played.