Joint statement – More support delivered to strengthen Kimberley flood recovery

More Government support has been extended to flood-impacted communities in the Kimberley, with local recovery officers to be stationed in the region, and more financial aid rolled out for ongoing clean-up work.

The Albanese and McGowan Governments will jointly fund Community Recovery Officers and Cultural Navigators to be placed in Fitzroy Crossing and Derby Community Recovery Hubs, as well as pop-up hubs and outreach services in Bayulu, Kupungarri, Camballin and other impacted communities.

The Community and Industry Recovery Officer Program will also fund the placement of Industry Recovery Officers to work alongside impacted industries and businesses.

To ensure community leaders are effectively engaged in the recovery decision-making, a community Recovery Working Group will be formalised and the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley will receive funding for additional recovery resources.

The programs will fund up to 20 recovery positions for a period of up to two years.

Meanwhile local councils, individuals and businesses will be reimbursed for costs incurred when carrying out clean-up activities, through a Kimberley Floods Clean-up Program.

Eligible clean-up activities include the immediate clean-up and debris removal from residences and local communities that is already under way, as well as current and future works such as the disposal of hazardous waste and demolition debris.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said both new programs would help bolster recovery efforts for flood-impacted communities and industries.

“In the immediate aftermath of a flood like this, the priority is making sure people are safe, and that they have a roof over their head and clothes on their back. In the weeks that follow, both the Albanese and McGowan Governments are focussed on making sure communities are given the extra tools needed to recover and rebuild, and that’s what these programs will help do,” Minister Watt said.

“Returning home is a priority for people who have been affected by floods, so we want to ensure that as many places are cleared of debris and washed down as soon as possible so people can return safely.

“The support officers will provide culturally sensitive recovery support and services, legal assistance and housing support services, as well as promote local employment and economic development opportunities.

“It’s critical that community recovery is designed and led by those who are impacted, and these officers will provide feedback directly from communities and businesses to ensure those affected aren’t left to face the challenge alone.”

Western Australian Emergency Services Minister, the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, said the recovery support structures required for this event were significant.

“The sheer extent of the Kimberley floods has left many communities facing a massive clean-up task as they start the recovery process,” Minister Dawson said.

“These floods have had a severe impact on communities across four local governments covering more than 25 per cent of the State, with the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley bearing the brunt of the event.

“While impacted shires, existing service providers and local community organisations are highly engaged and capable, the sheer scale of this event means they’ll need additional capacity and resources to help sustain their recovery efforts.

“These jointly funded programs will ensure that communities impacted by the floods can access culturally appropriate support and financial assistance, as well as the advice necessary to support their recovery at the local level.”

The programs will be administered by the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services in the initial phase, and are jointly funded under the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

More information is available on the Emergency WA website at

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