Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett
State Government Calls On Interstate Volunteers To Help With Storm Clean-Up
Victor P Taffa
Premier Colin Barnett said Western Australia has requested assistance from interstate emergency services agencies in the wake of one of the most destructive storms to hit the metropolitan area.
The Premier said the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) had requested a total of 94 volunteers from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia to provide welcome relief and support to the local volunteer and career crews.
Premier Barnett said more than 300 State Emergency Service volunteers, supported by career and volunteer Fire and Rescue Service and Bush Fire Service volunteers, had worked around the clock to ensure the mop up operations throughout the metropolitan area were being completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“This was one of the most significant thunderstorms to impact our city and our volunteers and career personnel have performed a magnificent job to work through more than 2,700 requests for help.” the Premier said.
“With damage currently estimated at $100 Million, the State Government has declared this a natural disaster and we are extremely grateful that our interstate agencies have accepted the invitation to come to Western Australia to assist.”
The Premier said a total of 94 SES personnel were coming from New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria to provide welcome support. The personnel would be used to repair roof damage, cut trees, recovery of houses affected by storms and ensuring the 1,000 emergency jobs throughout the metropolitan area are completed quickly.
He said while many jobs had been completed based on priority assessments there were more than 1,000 jobs still outstanding.
“The interstate crews will make a major difference on helping to complete these jobs as fast as possible so people affected can get some normality back into their lives.” Premier Barnett said.
“Only a few weeks ago WA sent a 40-strong contingent to assist in the aftermath of the violent Melbourne hailstorms and it’s tremendous to see the Victorian SES returning the favour.”
The interstate volunteers are expected to be in Perth for a three-day deployment before returning home on the weekend. The Premier also acknowledged the commitment and dedication of several regional SES, volunteer Fire and Rescue Service and Bush Fire Service teams that had also made a significant contribution to the recovery effort.
“In addition to the hard work by our metropolitan-based volunteers there has been an incredible response from our volunteers across the State with teams from Bunbury, Manjimup, Kalbarri and other units.” the Premier said.
“We are extremely fortunate in Western Australia to have such a committed and dedicated team of volunteers who are prepared to put their personal lives on hold to assist others in times of need.”
“I also want to acknowledge the families and employers of our volunteers who are prepared to support our volunteers at such short notice.”