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​Flo​​odin​​g in ​Western Au​stralia​ 

(Janu​ary and February 2017)​​​​​

Day Labour exemption - local governments to be fully reimbursed

​​Overheads

The Commonwealth Government has confirmed that they will accept Western Australia's proposal to allow local governments to include overhead costs when using their own resources to undertake recovery works following a proclaimed disaster event.​

This is excellent news for local governments as it enables them to be fully ​reimbursed when using their own labour for recovery works.

The previous Day Labour Exemption (9 May 2017) did not allow local governments to be fully reimbursed when using their own labour, as only salaries could be reimbursed. Now overheads, such as vehicle expenses, insurance and sick and holiday pay are covered.


Day labour, plant and equipment exemption approved
​It is important to note: 

  • ​​​​This temporary exemption can only be utilised for events occurring since January 2017. Repairs to damage caused by prior events should already be well underway, given the damage is to an essential public asset. Main Roads and OEM will, however, review specific local government requests for prior events on a case by case basis.
  • An important requirement for​ this exemption is that all local governments demonstra​te the cost-effectiveness of using their own labour, plant and equipment, compared to contractors.
  • Local governments must claim overheads in accordance with the local government legislation and the Australian Accounting Standards. 

 

Changes to the Temporary Framework

Since the release of the Temporary Exemption framework and supporting templates, the OEM has worked with users to review the documents and further streamline the process. The Supporting Guidelines and Templates on the OEM website have been updated. Guidance on the specific overheads can be found in the WANDRRA Gu​id​elines. If you have downloaded previous versions, please update your documents.

In the early development of the framework it was initially proposed that local governments would receive a 40% up-front payment once the estimate to repair damaged assets was agreed. Once 40% of work was complete an additional 40% would be provided, with a final 20% payment made upon completion of the works. This was referred to as the 40:40:20 payment.

This part of the framework cannot be implemented at this stage as the magnitude of the claims for up-front payments presents a significant issue and requires a comprehensive review. In addition, it was only intended for local governments' day labour and not work undertaken by contractors and as a result it creates an uneven playing field between contractors and local governments.

However, recognising the challenges for local governments in managing their cash flows, it has been agreed that, if required, local governments can make more frequent claims for the work done. This may be a monthly claim if it assists in the management of their cash flow. Main Roads WA and WANDRRA have also committed to processing payments to local governments as quickly as possible.

The new Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) are proposed to start in July 2018. Until then, the temporary exemption for labour, plant and equipment applies. This will provide an opportunity for Western Australia to test elements of the new system and provide feedback to the Commonwealth on any issues that are identified. Main Roads WA, WALGA and OEM will also meet regularly to monitor and review this system.


Media relea​ses:




State Recovery Coordinator visits the City of Swan on 27 April - update 28 April 2017

The OEM's State Recovery Coordinator, Steve Joske CSC visited the City of Swan on Thursday 27 April 2017. We decided to ask him a few questions about his visit.

As State Recovery Coordinator, what was the purpose of your visit?

We know through the Department of Agriculture and Food WA's assessments that the Swan Valley region was badly affected by the flooding event in January and February 2017. The area renowned for its vineyards suffered major loss. I was keen to speak to the people involved in the recovery effort and see first-hand the damage to the valley and the long-term effects of the flood.

What were your observations?

I probably made three key observations.

The first was, I was astonished to see the flood levels indicators of how high the water level rose. It really makes you think about this huge body of water travelling through that area and the damage it causes.

Secondly, I was impressed with the fantastic job done by the City of Swan in restoring the damaged infrastructure. All bike paths and playgrounds have been repaired and if you were visiting the area for the first time, you probably would not realise that they had suffered such a big flood event.  

And lastly, I also reflected on the difference between a large local government like City of Swan compared to a smaller one like Lake Grace that I visited a few weeks ago, particularly in their capacity to respond to disasters. Although regional WA knows how to deal with rural challenges in a resilient manner, it really does highlight that smaller local governments cannot restore their areas as fast as the larger ones and most will require additional help when affected by a disaster. The City of Swan are highly capable to respond to disaster and to recover quickly, and I congratulate all those involved.

Who did you meet?

I was pleased to meet with City of Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright, CEO Mike Foley and Executive Manager Community Wellbeing Mr Mark Bishop. It was a great opportunity to see how proud they were of the way their community recovered from the flooding and the City's ability to get back to normal.  As a local government they have received a lot of positive feedback from the recovery of this event. We spoke about disaster recovery planning in general and their top priority hazards.

I also visited the affected areas including Bells Rapid in Brigadoon with City of Swan officers: Mr Heath Stenton and Mr Ian Robertson.


From left: City of Swan CEO, Mike Foley, Mayor Mick Wainwright and Steve Joske, CSC

City fo Swan officers showing Steve Joske the affected areas.

What was the City of Swan's impression of the OEM?

The Mayor and CEO were very complimentary about our work and the service before, during and after, particularly the service provided by the OEM's District Advisor Ms Merveen Cross. The OEM has District Advisors servicing all emergency management districts in WA. Their role in recovery is to be my 'eyes and ears' on the ground. They provide valuable intelligence as well as advice and assistance in all aspects of recovery. Merveen is obviously highly respected and valued by the team at City of Swan.


The swollen Swan River during the floods.


The circle on the tree indicates level which flood waters reached.

 



Snapshot of Category C – Key facts for Primary Producers & Small Busines​s: ​


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​CATEGORY

CATEGOR​Y 'C' MEASURES - KEY FACTS

​PR​IMARY PRODUCERS

The Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) have set up an Incident Management Team to gather impact information and assess the damage of all Primary Producers. To report impacts of recent rainfall and flooding please contact DAFWA’s hotline on 9690 2022 (b​​etween 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday) or email​ flood_recovery@agric.wa.gov.au​.

For WANDRRA enquiries only call 1800 198 231 or visit the website https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/WANDRRA

DAFWA has a dedicated flood and cyclone recovery webpage to assist landholders with information on recovery from a natural disaster. On that webpage is the link to WANDRRA applications for Primary Producers: 
​ https://agric.smartygrants.com.au/WANDRRA_Flooding_WA_JanFeb2017

Farm businesses who require further assistance or report impacts can contact DAFWA's Hotline on 9690 2022 (8am – 5pm Monday to Friday) or email flood_recovery@agric.wa.gov.au


For more information, download the Category C Measures - Primary Producers Factsheet:PDF​ 151KB




​S​MALL BUSINESS

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) is gathering impact information for the small business sector. SBDC is available to assist with insurance forms and queries related to options for impacted businesses. Call (08) 6552 3300 or 13 12 49 or the East Metropolitan Business provider on (08) 9398 6333. 

Other enquiries may be directed to the Office of Emergency Management - contact (WANDRRA Administrator) by phone on (08) 6551 4034 or (08) 6551 4041, or by email: WANDRRA@oem.wa.gov.au


For more information, d​ownload the Category C Measures - Small Business Factsheet:PDF 92KB 


Local Government map:

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Snapshot of WANDRRA eligible categories, assistance that ​​may be available (where appropriate)​ and contact details:


CATEGORYASSISTANCE and CONTACT DETAILS

​Personal hardship ​and distress grants which are administered by the Department for Child Protection and Family
Supp​ort.  Potential measures include emergency food, accommodation, clothing, temporary living expenses, replacement of essential household contents and housing repairs to return housing to a habitable, safe and secure condition.  

Note – some of these measures are subject to income and/or assets testing.

Contact the Department for Child Protection and Family Support on 1800 032 965 or visit the Disaster and Emergency Support Services webpage

Interest rate subsidies on new borrowings approved by Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (banks) can be applied for to repair damage or for business carry-on costs incurred as a direct result of an eligible natural disaster event.​

Contact the Office of Emergency Management WANDRRA team on (08) 6551 4034 or (08) 6551 4041 or wandrra@oem.wa.gov.au

- Reimbursement of up to 50% for freight costs associated with transporting livestock, fodder or building or fencing equipment or machinery.
- Reimbursement for costs of materials only to repair or replace boundary fencing damaged or lost where it adjoins a major road or rail corridor and where roaming livestock may present a danger to the travelling public.
- Grants of up to $1500 to provide professional advice related to the disaster, such as financial, agronomic and animal husbandry issues.
- Interest rate subsidy on a new loan to repair or replace assets lost or damaged, or to replace livestock lost in the disaster.

Assistance is not provided as compensation for general damage or losses sustained, or as a disincentive to obtaining commercial insurance.​

Contact the Department of Agriculture and Foods WANDRRA assistance agric.wa.gov.au/wandrra or call
1800 198 231.​ 




Clean-up costs and the restoration or replacement (to pre-disaster standard) of essential public assets including local road damage. ​

State road damage is also included through Main Roads WA. Only costs incurred that are 'additional' costs, and are directly related to the event, will be eligible for reimbursement.

State road damageContact Main Roads WA in your area.

All other assets - Office of Emergency Management T. (08) 6551 4034 or (08) 6551 4041 E. wandrra@oem.wa.gov.au

 

 


For more details on WANDRRA (including eligibility criteria), please visit the WANDRRA home page​


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FAQ​​​

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What is WANDRRA and why was it estab​lished?

The State Government has established the Western Australia Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (WANDRRA) to assist the recovery of communities whose social, financial and economic well-being has been severely affected by a natural disaster. While primary responsibility for safeguarding and restoring public and private assets affected by natural disasters rests with the owner, who should always plan for the uncertainties of nature, the State Government recognises that disaster affected communities do not always have the resources to provide for their own recovery.

What disasters are covered by WANDRRA?

For the purposes of WANDRRA, there are a large number of eligible disaster types including bushfire, cyclone, tsunami, flood, storm, storm surge, meteorite strike, earthquake, landslide and tornado.

What disasters are not covered by WANDRRA?

Assistance is not available for drought, frost, heat wave or epidemics which are not natural disasters for the purposes of WANDRRA. In addition, events where human activity is a significant contributing cause (including poor environmental planning, commercial development, personal intervention other than arson, or accident) will not be covered. ​

What areas have been declared eligible natural disaster zones?

There are 92​ local government areas receiving WANDRRA assistance in response to the January/February 2017 floods.

In the Midwest-Gascoyne the following LGAs have been activated: Carnamah, Carnarvon, Chapman Valley, Coorow, Cue, Greater Geraldton, Irwin, Meekatharra, Mingenew, Morawa, Mount Magnet, Murchison, Northampton, Perenjori, Sandstone, Three Springs, Upper Gascoyne, Wiluna and Yalgoo.

In the Wheatbelt region the following LGAs have been activated: Beverley, Brookton, Bruce Rock, Chittering, Corrigin, Cuballing, Cunderdin, Dalwallinu, Dandaragan, Dowerin, Dumbleyung, Gingin, Goomalling, Kellerberrin, Kondinin, Koorda, Kulin, Lake Grace, Merredin, Moora, Mount Marshall, Mukinbudin, Narembeen, Narrogin, Northam, Nungarin, Pingelly, Quairading, Tammin, Toodyay, Trayning, Victoria Plains, Wagin, Wandering, West Arthur, Westonia, Wickepin, Williams, Wongan-Ballidu, Wyalkatchem, Yilgarn and York.

In the Goldfields-Esperance region the following LGAs have been activated: Coolgardie, Dundas, Esperance, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Laverton, Leonora, Menzies, Ngaanyatjarraku and Ravensthorpe.

In the Kimberley region the following LGAs have been activated: Broome, Derby West Kimberley, Halls Creek and Wyndham East Kimberley.

In the Pilbara region the following LGAs have been activated: Ashburton, East Pilbara, Karratha and Port Headland.

In the Great Southern region the following LGAs have been activated: Albany, Broomehill-Tambellup, Cranbrook, Denmark, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Katanning, Kent, Kojonup, Plantagenet and Woodanilling.

In the Peel region the Boddinton and Murray ​LGAs​ has been activated.

And in the Perth region the Swan LGA has been activated.

How will I know if there are any relief measures available to me and who do I contact?

Generally there will be a lot of media coverage of a natural disaster event. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) announces whether WANDRRA has been activated, specifying the areas eligible and the support measures that may be provided.

You can also check the websites of:


or phone:

  • OEM on 08 6552 6250 or 08 6522 5088
  • DAFWA on Freecall 1800 198 231
  • The Department for Child Protection and Family Support, Emergency Services Unit on 1800 032 965.

What assistance can be made available for individuals and families?

Support measures made available after a declared event are generally specific to the needs of the community. There are four categories of personal hardship and distress (PHD) that can be provided by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support.

Category 1 – Emergency Assistance
Category 2 – Temporary Living Expenses
Categories 1 and 2 are assessed and, where applicable, financial assistance is issued.

Category 3 – Replacement of Essential Household Contents
Category 4 – Housing Repairs/Replacement
Categories 3 and 4 only apply to declared disaster events and applications are subject to an income and assessment test.

For further information contact the Disaster Response Hotline of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support on 1800 032 965.

What assistance can be made available to small business under WANDRRA?

Interest rate subsidies on new borrowings approved by Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (banks) can be applied to repair damage or for business carry-on costs incurred as a direct result of an eligible natural disaster event.

What assistance can be made available to local government and state government agencies under WANDRRA?

Reimbursement of some clean-up costs and the restoration or replacement (to pre-disaster standard) of essential public assets including local road damage. State road damage is also included through Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA). More information regarding state roads can be obtained by contacting your local/regional MRWA office, or at www.mainroads.wa.gov.au

Who should local governments contact when their ‘local’ roads have been impacted by a natural disaster?

Contact should be made with the local Main Roads WA office. Main Roads WA will provide advice and guidance, and will also collate and forward information about the impact of the event to the Controlling Agency to assist in the early assessment of an event, and its potential to be activated as an eligible event under WANDRRA. Main Roads WA will also assess WANDRRA eligible claims from local governments and reimburse them directly. See the Local Government Guide for more details.

What assistance can be made available to primary producers under WANDRRA?

Freight costs - reimbursement of up to 50% of freight costs associated with transporting livestock, fodder, building or fencing equipment or machinery. The transporting of livestock is for the purpose of moving to a safer location and returning when safe to do so.

Fencing - reimbursement for costs of materials only to repair or replace boundary fencing damaged or lost where it adjoins a major road or rail corridor and where roaming livestock may present a danger to the travelling public. It must be demonstrated that, at the time of the disaster event, the affected fencing was required to control the movement of livestock.

Professional advice - grants of up to $1,500 to provide advice related to the disaster, such as financial, agronomic and animal husbandry issues.

Interest rate subsidies – may be available for new loans provided by banks to repair or replace assets lost or damaged, for carry-on purposes to implement the next season's production program, or to replace livestock lost in the disaster.

All of the above WANDRRA-eligible measures are administered by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA).

Homes on farms – assistance may be available for repair of damage. Need to contact insurer initially. Contact the Department for Child Protection and Family Support on 1800 032 965 for further details.

The following are not eligible under WANDRRA:

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  • Replacement of topsoil
  • Provision of fodder
  • Repair of farm roads
  • Repair of farm sheds
  • Repair or replacement of fencing that does not satisfy the criteria detailed above.
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Can I claim any assistance for replacing fences if I don’t have livestock?

For fencing assistance applicants must be able to demonstrate that the land was used to hold or agist livestock at the time of the natural disaster and the fences adjoin a main road or rail transport corridor. A property that was used solely for cropping purposes at the time of the disaster resulting in the claim would not be eligible for assistance under WANDRRA. As the intent of this measure is to ensure public safety, to be eligible, all works must be undertaken as soon as is practicable after the impact of the natural disaster event. It must also be noted that where a claimant has insurance, and the insurance policy includes fencing, the claim must be lodged with the insurer and not via WANDRRA.

Will Category C Measures be Available for this Event?

Recovery grants of up to $25,000 are designed to provide short-term targeted assistance for clean-up, removal of debris, disposal of dead livestock and reinstatement.

The grants only become available when the severity of the event meets a number of criteria including that production and viability is disrupted beyond the current season.


DAFWA has Incident Response Teams currently working in the affected areas to assess both the immediate damage sustained by primary producers and the long-term impact to the agricultural industry as a whole. This work will help determine if Category C measures can be invoked.

Who is a primary producer under WANDRRA?

For the purposes of WANDRRA, a primary producer is someone who operates a commercial scale farming, pastoral, horticultural or fishing business.

How long will I have after the disaster to lodge an application?

Applications from primary producers will be accepted for a period of six (6) months following the declaration of a disaster. Any variance in the lodgement period will be advertised on the OEM and DAFWA websites.

​Can I apply for help if I don’t own any farm land?

An applicant must either own the farm land or hold a current minimum twelve (12) month written agreement to sharefarm or lease the property for the purpose of primary production. If the property is not owned, the applicant must provide a copy of the lease/sharefarming agreement in their application.

​Why do I need to provide a current statement of assets and liabilities if I am just expressing my interest in getting an interest subsidy?

Applicants must demonstrate that funds are not available from within their own resources. It would be expected that applicants would have committed all liquid assets and credit sources for normal operation of the business and will need to access extra borrowings to recover from the disaster. This will be assessed mainly from the statement of assets and liabilities as at the time of application. Should your statement be lacking in relevant details, you are likely to be asked to provide additional information to support your application. Generally, an increase in the level of agreed borrowing would likely qualify for interest rate subsidy support.

What if I don’t have a current statement of assets and liabilities?

If your latest statement of assets and liabilities is more than 6 months old, it is recommended you prepare an updated one for submission with your application. Should your statement be lacking in relevant details, you are likely to be asked to provide additional information that may include balance sheet and financial statements for the farm enterprise including profit and loss statements, trading account and depreciation schedules etc, to support your application.

​How do I apply for help?

Complete the WANDRRA Primary Producer Package Application form online (using the link under the links section of the web page) and upload all relevant documents within six (6) months of the declared event. The application includes your consent for DAFWA or OEM to seek and/or share information. Relevant documents will include your tax invoice to DAFWA (ABN 18 951 343 745) for the expected reimbursement (excluding GST) and suppliers' tax invoices and receipts that verify the expenditure/payments you are seeking to be reimbursed for.

​How will I be paid if my application is approved?

You will need to submit your tax invoice to DAFWA (ABN 18 951 343 745) for the expected reimbursement (excluding GST) when you lodge your application (for all measures except interest subsidy). Reimbursement payments for professional advice, freight costs, fencing or other measures will be paid direct to your nominated bank account.

​Am I eligible for any help if my business is insured?

WANDRRA does not provide compensation for losses suffered, or assistance, where adequate insurance ​could have been obtained. Insurable assets such as houses and vehicles will not be considered eligible under the WANDRRA.

​​What other assistance is available to primary producers?

For details about WANDRRA assistance visit agric.wa.gov.au/wandrra or call 1800 198 231. For concerns about financial hardship contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service on freecall 1800 612 004. The Regional Men’s Health Initiative is available to work with communities and individuals experiencing distress as result of these events by contacting (08) 9690 2277. Information on flood recovery measures and support is available on the Department of Agriculture and Food website www.agric.wa.gov.au.​

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Related news and media statements:


(mainly to help with freight, fencing and advice costs)

 

​Contacts:​

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WANDRRA: WANDRRA@oem.wa.gov.au​​​

State Recovery Coordinator: steve.joske@​oem.wa.gov.au

OEM Communications Coordinator: loredana.manfredi@oem.wa.gov.au ​​

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