24 December, 2010 :Commonwealth disaster assistance will help rebuild flood-affected Carnarvon and provide crucial support to both growers and residents, Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Chris Evans said today.
Following an inspection of the extensive damage on the ground, Senator Evans said the Australian Defence Force is on stand-by to offer further support at the request of the WA Government.
“Parts of the Pilbara and Mid-West have been devastated by the worst floods in more than half a century,” Senator Evans said.
“We have seen considerable damage to public roads in the region and a significant clean-up operation will be required.”
“The Commonwealth Government recognises the impact that these floods have had on local communities and we commend the resilience these people have shown at this difficult time.”
“Seven areas have been declared natural disaster zones, making local communities eligible for joint State/Commonwealth assistance.”
“Natural disaster zones have been declared in Ashburton, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Murchison, Northampton, Shark Bay and Upper Gascoyne.”
“A small number of ADF members are assisting on the ground with supply efforts. The Commonwealth Government stands ready to provide further ADF assistance as requested.”
“Commonwealth assistance is being provided to the Western Australian Government through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).”
Assistance available includes:
Emergency assistance for people who have suffered personal hardship or distress;
Funding for local governments and state agencies for the restoration or replacement of essential public infrastructure;
Interest rate subsidies for small businesses; and
Professional Advice Grants, interest rate subsidies and freight subsidies for primary producers.
“The Commonwealth Government will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with the Western Australian Government to ensure that affected communities have the support they need,” Senator Evans said.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the Commonwealth Government is providing natural disaster assistance as the result of flooding across five states now – New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
“More than 110 Local Government Areas across the country have now been declared natural disaster zones, making communities eligible for assistance,” he said.