Premier Expresses Sympathy For Queensland Flood Victims

Premier Expresses Sympathy For Queensland Flood Victims

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett

Premier Praises Carnarvon Community For Heroic Efforts During Flood

Victor P Taffa

Premier Colin Barnett has applauded the extraordinary efforts of the People and Shire of Carnarvon in dealing with devastating floods which hit the town almost two weeks ago.

“While in Carnarvon with Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman, I saw the flood waters and witnessed the huge community effort to save the town and protect people and property.” Premier Barnett said.

“The People of Carnarvon and particularly Shire President Dudley Maslen and his staff, should be applauded for their tireless efforts and support of each other.”

The Premier said the long hours worked during the Christmas period by Main Roads WA, the Water Corporation, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) and the local State Emergency Service (SES) were appreciated.

 

Premier Barnett said as flood waters receded, the full extent of the damage and loss to plantation owners, pastoralists and small business had become more evident.

“It will be a long time before things are back to normality for many in Carnarvon and Gascoyne Junction.” Premier Barnett said.

“It could be many weeks before residents are allowed to return to their homes.” Premier Barnett said.

State Government representatives and the two local members, Ken Baston MLC and Vince Catania MLA, spoke to a large crowd of local business people on Wednesday about available financial aid measures which could help in the clean-up and in restoring or replacing infrastructure damaged in the flooding.

Components of the package include:

  • Restoration of electricity services to specific houses or residential premises;
  • Up to $10,000 to residents for the replacement of whitegoods, floor coverings, window treatments, etc, where these are damaged beyond repair;
  • Up to $15,000 to small businesses and primary producers for clean-up and recovery covering such costs as the removal of debris from properties, the repair of damaged infrastructure and internal roads and replacement of fences.

Additional support in replacing lost topsoil for plantation owners will also be provided. The Department of Agriculture and Food is currently assessing this requirement.

Further information on available assistance will be given to the community today.

Enormous damage has occurred to local roads. A 220 km stretch of the North West Coastal Highway suffered extensively with two major wash-outs, extensive stripping of bitumen and hundreds of kilometres of eroded road shoulders and embankments.

The estimated cost of repairing the highway, which only became passable on Wednesday, is about $15 Million. The estimated cost of repairing other roads in the area runs to another $15 Million.

The Premier said he had already written to Prime Minister Julia Gillard seeking Federal Government Assistance. He did not expect the serious flood situation in other States to affect Western Australia’s entitlement to Federal support.

Last week, the State Government announced a donation of $100,000 to the Lord Mayors’ Distress Relief Fund for the Gascoyne Flood.

“The flood has seriously impacted the livelihoods of growers, tourist operators, caravan parks and many other Carnarvon businesses.” Premier Barnett said.

“Some businesses were totally destroyed.”

The Premier urged all West Australians to assist where possible, either by donating to the fund or supporting Carnarvon businesses.

“At the same time, we express our sympathy to those affected by the widespread and devastating floods in Queensland.” Premier Barnett said.

“We are thinking of them as they deal with very difficult circumstances.” Premier Barnett said.