Joint media statement - Disaster assistance for North-West communities affected by Tropical Cyclone Ilsa
Disaster recovery assistance is now available to communities in Western Australia's North-West region impacted by destructive winds and heavy rainfall associated with Tropical Cyclone Ilsa.
The Town of Port Hedland and Shires of East Pilbara and Broome are now eligible for support through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Under these arrangements, emergency assistance may be available to cover temporary living expenses, replacement of essential household goods, housing repairs and personal and financial counselling. This recovery assistance also includes support for clean-up activities and the restoration of essential public assets that may have sustained damage.
Tropical Cyclone Ilsa crossed the WA coast 120km east northeast of Port Hedland around midnight on Thursday 13 April 2023 as a Category 5 system.
It brought destructive wind gusts of more than 250km/h, extended inland after crossing the coast and remained at cyclone intensity further inland as it moved towards the Northern Interior district of WA.
On Friday morning, 14 April 2023, gusts of up to 195 km/h impacted areas near the system centre to the east of Marble Bar as it tracked inland.
Heavy rainfall of between 150mm and 200mm was also recorded as the cyclone tracked inland.
Acting Federal Minister for Emergency Management, the Hon Andrew Giles MP, said the priority was to work as quickly as possible to assess the impacts.
"My thoughts are with those residents in communities in the path of Cyclone Ilsa's destructive trail," Minister Giles said.
"This financial assistance will be especially helpful in the immediate aftermath of Ilsa as local residents and councils begin the repair and recovery work.
"This cyclone has impacted on many extremely remote communities and while it may take some time to fully understand the extent of the impact, we have worked quickly and collaboratively to make this assistance available.
"We know communities in rural areas are more vulnerable to severe weather events, so we are working around the clock to assess the impact and we stand ready to provide help if necessary."
Acting WA Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon Sue Ellery MLC, said the assistance would provide much-needed support for those who have been impacted by Tropical Cyclone Ilsa.
"Our primary focus is to secure people's lives and livelihoods and I'd like to acknowledge the efforts of all the government agencies and local governments for working around the clock to keep people safe," Minister Ellery said.
"I would also like to commend members of the community, volunteers and businesses for the outstanding work they did preparing their properties by securing loose items, which prevented further damage.
"We will be working closely with the Commonwealth Government to make sure people impacted by Tropical Cyclone Ilsa have access to assistance available under the jointly funded DRFA."
Information on disaster assistance can be found at: https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/recovery/activated-events
Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 5800