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Media Release

Natural disaster relief available for the Pilbara
Tuesday 14 February 2012 – 9:45 AM

Disaster assistance may be available to communities in the State’s north west affected by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Heidi and associated flooding.

Emergency Services Minister Troy Buswell said the assistance measures, which are jointly funded by the Federal and Western Australian governments and administered through WA Government agencies, will help councils and communities recover from this disaster as quickly as possible.
“Councils affected by this natural disaster event may have access to a range of assistance measures including repair or restoration of certain essential public assets, and counter disaster operations including clean-up assistance through the WANDRRA,” Mr Buswell said.
“WANDRRA is administered by FESA, with assistance from other agencies, and provides help to people who have suffered the direct impact of a proclaimed natural disaster.”
The local government districts affected by TC Heidi include:
• Shire of Broome
• Shire of East Pilbara
• Shire of Leonora
• Shire of Meekatharra
• Town of Port Hedland
• Shire of Sandstone
• Shire of Upper Gascoyne
• Shire of Wiluna
The category 2 cyclone uprooted trees and damaged roads after it crossed the Pilbara coast early on 12 January.
During the incident, FESA staff and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers worked closely with the Town of Port Hedland, and several other government agencies and companies to minimise the impact on the community.
“More than 20 volunteers from the Port Hedland SES unit worked tirelessly to help the town of Port Hedland, remote outlying communities, pastoralists and mining camps,” Mr Buswell said.
“Over recent weeks, supplies have also been airlifted into remote indigenous communities cut off by flood waters including Burringurrah in the Midwest Gascoyne, Warralong and Yandeyarra in the Pilbara.
“With more wet weather on its way, people in the State’s north west are being urged to stay safe, get prepared and listen to the cyclone and flood advices issued by authorities.”
Assistance through WANDRRA, subject to eligibility, may be available for:
• Primary producers – freight costs and restoration of boundary fences (where public safety is at risk), professional advice grants and interest rate subsidies on ‘new’ loans approved by an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI).
• Local Governments and State Government Agencies – certain clean-up activities, repair and restore essential public assets including local roads. 
• Small businesses – interest rate subsidies on ‘new’ loans approved by an ADI.
• Individuals and families – personal hardship and distress grants.
To apply for assistance or for more information contact the following agencies:
• Primary producers: Department of Agriculture and Food – http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/PC_92634.html?s=1806799864 or 1800 198 231
• Local government: http://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/AboutMainRoads/ContactUs/Pages/ContactUs.aspx or 138 138
• Individuals and families: Department for Child Protection – http://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/Organisation/ContactUs/Pages/ContactUs.aspx or 1800 032 965
• Small Business and other enquiries:  WANDRRA Administrator (08) 9323 9552, email: wandrra@fesa.wa.gov.au or visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au
Media Contact: FESA Media and Public Affairs 9225 5955


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