Joint statement – Temporary accommodation for residents and workers to continue Kimberley flood recovery

Flood recovery for Western Australia’s Kimberley region continues with the rollout of the next stage of temporary residential accommodation and the establishment of dedicated accommodation for workers, as flood-affected communities continue to rebuild.

Both temporary accommodation programs are jointly funded by the Albanese and Cook Governments through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DFRA).

To date, the Temporary Residential Accommodation Program being delivered by the WA Department of Communities has provided much-needed accommodation for some communities. Stage two of the program will provide longer-term temporary accommodation on Country that is suitable for extended families while their homes are repaired or rebuilt.

The types of accommodation in stage two will also support displaced residents who wish to return to their communities located close to the Fitzroy River, which are more prone to flooding during the wet season.

The record-breaking flooding in January 2023 caused significant damage to homes and infrastructure across the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley, resulting in the need to accommodate workers undertaking a large-scale program of recovery activities and reconstruction works.

Additionally, the Temporary Workers Accommodation Program will enable the Western Australian Government to enter into an agreement with local Aboriginal enterprises to secure accommodation for flood recovery-related workers.

The program will support the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley to manage the operations of the 40-person worker camp facility donated by Rio Tinto.

The WA Government has commenced discussions with local communities and Traditional Owners to identify suitable culturally appropriate accommodation options that meet the needs of the impacted communities, as well as support local employment and business development opportunities for the Fitzroy Crossing community.

Federal Minister for Northern Australia Madeleine King said these programs would help to continue the recovery of those impacted by the flooding in WA’s Kimberley region.

“The Albanese Government recognises that labour shortages pose a challenge for recovery works right across the country,” Minister King said.

“The Temporary Workers Accommodation Program will help make it more viable for tradespeople to stay in the region and focus on rebuilding homes, businesses and essential public assets.

“We’re also pleased to support an extension to the successful Temporary Residential Accommodation Program, which will help ensure that displaced residents and their families will be able to stay on Country as the recovery continues.”

Western Australian Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson said the WA Government had been working closely with impacted communities to determine demand and consider suitable options for accommodating displaced families, as well as the recovery workforce.

“Ongoing consultation with the community has identified the need for additional temporary residential accommodation options that are suitable for larger, extended families,” Minister Dawson said.

“This funding will enable us to provide temporary residential accommodation that better suits their needs in the long-term as their homes are rebuilt.

“Unfortunately, there is currently a shortage of accommodation available in Fitzroy Crossing to house incoming workers, which could hinder reconstruction and recovery efforts.

“This jointly funded program will enable incoming workers to stay locally while doing critical work to help communities to get back on their feet and recover.”

The support is in addition to more housing assistance for public housing and private homeowner grants, and recovery grants for farmers, small and medium-sized businesses, also announced today. For more information, visit:

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