Premier, Minister visit the Pilbara in the wake of Cyclone Veronica
Premier Mark McGowan and Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan visited the Pilbara today to meet with local emergency services and assess the damage wrought by Tropical Cyclone Veronica.
The ministers, joined by Department of Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel, met members of Karratha and Hedland’s SES units, volunteer fire and rescue services, Department of Communities and local government to thank them for their efforts in handling the Category 3 cyclone.
Mr McGowan said the Pilbara had been lucky to avoid a severe impact from Cyclone Veronica.
“This had the capacity to be a tragic cyclone, to be devastating,” he said.
“Fortunately it hasn’t resulted in that outcome, but the local community has done a marvellous job and all of the volunteers, all of the State Government workers, all of the industry people, have banded together to ensure that this community was ready and that they’re dealing with the aftermath very well.”
“At this point in time there’s still some issues with potential flooding in some communities, particularly remote communities, but coordinators are dealing with that issue as we speak and there are plans underway to make sure those communities are properly supplied and supported.”
“I’m very pleased with... all of the effort was put in to make that this cyclone was dealt with and we were able to coordinate it very effectively.”
Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan praised the efforts of local communities and emergency service crews in preparing for the cyclone and complying with DFES alerts.
He said the State Government, assisted by Pilbara local governments, would now look into whether local communities could be eligible for disaster relief funding.
“Both the Town (of Port Hedland) and City (of Karratha) will be looking at the amount of damage that has actually been done that falls within the criteria of disaster recovery funding... and the Department will make an application because it’s jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State (Governments),” he said.
“If the damage bill goes above the level of $250,000, then automatically the disaster recovery funding application comes into fruition and the funding will be provided.”
Mr Logan also said he would look into the lack of any evacuation centre in the City of Karratha’s eastern corridor for future emergencies.
Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said Cyclone Veronica had been one of the worst cyclones he had seen in his 17 years in the region, but praised the way community members had come together to support each other through it.
Mr McGowan and Mr Logan also visited Karratha Health Campus and Roebourne before flying to Port Hedland.
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