Joint media statement - Disaster assistance activated for WA's Bunbury community impacted by severe storm and tornado

Jointly funded disaster recovery assistance has been activated to support those impacted by the recent severe storm and tornado in the City of Bunbury in Western Australia's South West.

Jointly funded disaster recovery assistance has been activated to support those impacted by the recent severe storm and tornado in the City of Bunbury in Western Australia's South West.

On 10 May 2024 the City of Bunbury experienced a severe storm and tornado that caused destructive winds. Suburbs south of the city centre bore the brunt of the impact, with more than 200 residential properties, community facilities and essential public assets damaged, including the Bunbury Regional Prison.

The assistance is being provided by the Albanese and Cook Governments through the jointly funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) to individuals, families and small businesses in the City of Bunbury impacted by the storm and tornado.

This joint assistance will build on the emergency support already available through the WA Premier's Relief Payment for eligible individuals and families to help meet their immediate and essential needs, such as emergency accommodation, food, clothing and personal effects, and personal or financial support services.

Both Governments are also working together to support the City of Bunbury to cover eligible costs associated with undertaking clean-up and the repair of essential public assets.

Western Australian Premier Roger Cook praised emergency services workers and volunteers who have been central to the early recovery efforts.

"I'm immensely proud of how the local Bunbury community has come together to support each other in the wake of this devastating weather event.

"My Government will do whatever we can to support those impacted.

"Our Premier's Payments scheme has already been triggered to provide immediate assistance, and I'm grateful to the Albanese Government for their support in the next stage of the recovery journey."

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said that the Albanese Government was committed to ensuring disaster assistance was delivered when it was needed.

"When severe weather events catch communities off-guard, our Government will always work with WA to ensure suitable assistance is delivered," Minister Watt said.

"I am pleased to work with our Western Australian colleagues to get assistance on the ground as soon as possible to support the region in their recovery."

Western Australian Emergency Services Minister the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC said activating the DRFA would help provide much-needed assistance with emergency accommodation and everyday essentials.

"The tornado's location and scale of damage make this an extremely rare event and it has significantly impacted more than 200 hundred households in the Bunbury community," he said.

"For many residents the recovery journey will be a long one.

"With this in mind, we're working closely with the Commonwealth Government to ensure those affected by this severe storm get the support they need to recover."

Local Member for Bunbury Don Punch MLA said the disaster recovery assistance would be most welcome by the residents of Bunbury. 

"This is an incredibly tough time for the whole community, but the people of Bunbury have rallied to support each other in the face of hardship. 

"It has been heartwarming to hear the many stories about people helping each other out over the past week and see firsthand the tireless work of our volunteers, emergency services personnel and City of Bunbury staff.

"We know the recovery process will take time but this financial aid, in addition to the support that's already available through the Premier's Relief Payment, will provide much needed assistance in the short term to those impacted by this severe weather event."

Information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at