Opposition welcomes funding package for Seroja-affected communities

The Opposition has welcomed the record $104 million disaster recovery package being made available to communities impacted by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja, jointly funded by the State and Federal Government. 

Opposition Leader Mia Davies said the recovery package was much needed given the communities impacted were still reeling from the most significant natural disaster WA had seen in recent years.

“It has been more than 100 days since the cyclone left a trail of destruction across the Mid West, Gascoyne and Wheatbelt and sadly, there are still homes and properties without roofs and families and communities relying on generators,” Ms Davies said.

“The $104 million dollar cash injection is a much-needed helping hand to get residents back to normal by giving them financial surety to rebuild their communities.

“The Opposition has been advocating for action on support for the clean-up and restoration of heritage buildings and extra grant programs for residents, primary producers and small businesses – it’s good to see these issues addressed in the package announced today.”

Member for Moore Shane Love said the onus was now on the Labor Government to use this funding to accelerate the rebuild of damaged properties as a priority.

“Having a lack of proper housing when the community is trying to rebuild their local economy is seriously hampering recovery efforts,” Mr Love said.

“Increasing the number of trades available within damaged communities so reparation works can progress without delay is essential.”

Member for North West Central and Shadow Minister for Tourism Vince Catania said locals and business owners in the disaster zone deserved to have a roof over their head, particularly as the peak tourist season for the affected regions edged closer.

“Particularly in towns like Kalbarri that thrive on tourism, it’s vital their communities are up and running and able to cope with the upcoming heavy flow of tourists during the summer season.”

Shadow Emergency Services Minister Martin Aldridge said while the funding package was welcomed, the State Government had dragged their heels for more than 100 days to provide much needed assistance.

“The Opposition has been calling for serious financial support to fast-track clean-up operations, provide temporary accommodation and workers accommodation as an urgent priority since April – meanwhile hundreds of families have been stuck in limbo waiting for support to arrive.”

Mr Aldridge said funding needed to be fast-tracked to deliver workers accommodation for construction workers and other tradespeople desperately needed for rebuild and clean-up operation.

“This disaster recovery package is much-needed for these devastated communities. The State Government now needs to urgently get this funding out the door so it can be put to good use helping affected residents and communities.”