Cyclone-affected communities need extra financial help more than 100 days since Seroja hit

The Opposition has expressed its disappointment in the little financial assistance for cyclone-affected communities, more than 100 days since Tropical Cyclone Seroja crossed Western Australia’s coast.
Acting Opposition Leader and Member for Moore Shane Love said while some funding has been provided, support for the impacted towns and regions have been left wanting by the Labor Government.
“Thankfully and remarkably, no-one was killed when Seroja crossed the coast, but the damage trail left behind is the most significant from a natural disaster in WA’s living memory,” Mr Love said.
“The Labor Government continues to sit on a $5 billion surplus while there are homes in the disaster zone still without roofs and properties still running on generators over 100 days later.
“We welcome some of the initiatives, like sending caravans up to Northampton, Morawa and Chapman Valley for temporary accommodation but there are other assistance measures we have been calling on the Labor Government to look into over the past few months.
“Exploring funding models for heritage buildings in local government areas including Northampton, supplying more credit for Synergy customers in the affected regions and introducing greater support grants for small businesses should all be front of mind for the Labor Government.
“These communities are still dealing with the effects of the devastation caused, they should not also still be worrying about financial assistance more than 100 days after the cyclone hit.”
Shadow Emergency Services Minister Martin Aldridge said locals, many of whom have still not been fully assessed by insurers, remain surrounded by the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Seroja – a constant reminder of the terrifying events of Sunday April 11.
“Immediate moves should be made by the Labor Government to help the community heal from what was a traumatic experience for the entire region,” Mr Aldridge said.
“Having a lack of medium-term housing and certainty for the future more than 100 days after Tropical Cyclone Seroja is deplorable given the community is trying to rebuild and re-ignite their local economy.”
Member for North West Central Vince Catania said the Labor Government needs to fast-track assistance promised nearly two months ago so locals could start construction on necessary infrastructure.
“The Labor Government promised 6 weeks ago that they would assist financially to develop workers accommodation to house tradies that are desperately needed for the rebuild of Kalbarri,” Mr Catania said.
 “One insurance company has a workforce of 200 tradies and no immediate accommodation – this should be resolved as a priority to get the community back on its feet.”