Caretaker message

Thank you for visiting this website. In the period preceding an election, the Australian Government assumes a caretaker role.
The Department of Social Services hosts this website and the department will manage it in accordance with the Guidance on Caretaker Conventions.

Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Additional Australian Government help for WA fire victims

Joint Media Release with:

  • Gary Gray MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Western Australia

The Australian Government will provide additional financial assistance to West Australians who have been seriously affected by this week’s devastating bushfires.

The Government has activated the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (ADGRP) to provide immediate financial assistance to people who have been seriously injured as a result of the fires, whose principal place of residence has been destroyed or significantly damaged, who have been unable to return to their residence for 24 hours or more, or where a person’s principal place of residence experienced a utility failure for a period of 48 hours or more.

Those eligible will be able to receive a one off payment of $1000 for adults and $400 for each child to help people with their most immediate needs in the aftermath of the fires.

The ADGRP will be available to people in affected areas of Dandaragan, Coorow, and Toodyay, Western Australia. People who are affected should contact Centrelink for details of payment arrangements over the weekend and public holiday period.

Claims for AGDRP assistance can be lodged with Centrelink from tomorrow until 30 June 2010. Centrelink staff will be operating from the Toodyay Memorial Hall at Lot 148, Stirling Terrace Toodyay over the weekend to process claims. Fire victims can also call the dedicated WA Bushfires hotline on 180 22 66 visit the Centrelink website, or from Monday, visit their local Centrelink Customer Service Centre.

Tanya Plibersek MP, Acting Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Gary Gray MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Western Australia, announced the AGDRP yesterday, 31 December 2009.

Gary Gray who has visited fire affected communities said the payments, in addition to those promised by the State Government, would help local people who had lost everything in the fires.

“The payments will help get them through this difficult period – while they work out how they are going to rebuild their lives, sort out insurance issues and handle all the other challenges they will face over the coming days and months,” Mr Gray said.

The financial assistance announced today is over and above the support being provided by the Australian Government under the long standing Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

Yesterday the Attorney General Robert McClelland announced that the Australian Government would provide financial assistance to communities affected by bushfires in Western Australia under NDRRA.

The NDRRA funding will be provided in cooperation with the Western Australian Government and includes:

  • Personal hardship and distress (PHD) grants, based on need, where principal residences have been damaged. Inquiries can be made to the WA Department of Child Protection on 1800 199 008;
  • Support to local governments in the restoration of essential public infrastructure;
  • Assistance for primary producers, including road and rail freight subsidies and other re-establishment costs. Inquiries can be made to the WA Department of Food and Agriculture on 1800 198 231; and
  • Interest rate subsidies for small businesses. Inquiries can be made to the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (wandrra@fesa.wa.gov.au) or (08) 9323 9552.

More information on Australian Government assistance is available at the Disaster Assist website (www.disasterassist.gov.au).