Joint Commonwealth-State disaster assistance for cyclone-affected Western Australian communities

Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, and Western Australian Premier,
the Hon Colin Barnett MLA, today announced that communities in the north-west of Western Australia affected by ex-Tropical Cyclone Olwyn had been declared a natural disaster, triggering disaster assistance.

Senator Brandis said the assistance was being provided to the local government areas of Ashburton, Carnarvon, Exmouth and Shark Bay through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

“The Australian and Western Australian governments recognise the need for swift and effective action to help communities and families recover from Tropical Cyclone Olwyn,” Senator Brandis said.

Assistance available under the NDRRA may include:

  • personal hardship and distress assistance for families and individuals to help with emergency needs such as food, clothing and accommodation, essential repairs to damaged homes and the replacement of essential household contents
  • financial assistance for local and State government authorities to undertake counter-disaster operations and to restore damaged public infrastructure
  • interest rate subsidies for small businesses and primary producers who have been directly affected by flooding
  • freight subsidies for primary producers to assist with the costs of transporting livestock, fodder or water for livestock and machinery and equipment.  

“While impact assessments are still ongoing and further areas may be affected, it is clear that there has been a significant impact on local economies, with some fruit plantations in the region being completely destroyed,” Mr Barnett said.

“This assistance will help families and communities in the north-west region get back on their feet and ensure that these vital local industries are able to recover as soon as possible.

“I would like to thank the many volunteers, including those of the State Emergency Service, who have been out and about helping their local communities with clean-up operations.”

The Australian and Western Australian governments will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that local government, community organisations and individuals have the support they need.

Information regarding the assistance available can be found on the Western Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet website at and on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at