Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Angus Taylor and the Western Australian Minister for Emergency Services Francis Logan today announced the activation of disaster assistance for Broome in response to the impacts from Tropical Cyclone Hilda on 27 December 2017.
Minister Taylor said assistance was being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
"The Australian and Western Australian governments are committed to working together to help the recovery of disaster affected communities like the local government area of Broome," Mr Taylor said.
"The north of Western Australia has again faced heavy rains and winds this week from Cyclone Joyce. This assistance announced today will help recovery efforts from the earlier Cyclone Hilda event just after Christmas, including restoration and replacement of road infrastructure and removal of debris from residential properties."
Minister Logan said that a range of assistance was now available to support eligible residents, small businesses and primary producers within the disaster affected local government area of Broome.
"We are also providing assistance to councils and state agencies to cover the cost of cleaning up and restoring damaged public infrastructure," Mr Logan said.
Assistance available under the NDRRA may include:
Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at disasterassist.gov.au and the WANDRRA pages of the OEM's website.
The Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon. Francis Logan MLA has today tabled in Parliament the 2017 Emergency Preparedness Report.
The 162 page report, prepared each year for the Minister by the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC), is a state-wide assessment of WA's preparedness for emergencies.
Key findings of the 2017 report:
The Emergency Management (EM) sector in WA is highly functioning, collaborative and cooperative.
There is a growing understanding about the risks that will be faced and realism about the capabilities that can be mobilised to confront them.
The sector is well equipped to deal with most 'business as usual' events. There is a developing acceptance and understanding of the need to improve the recovery process.
Agencies are actively preparing for the onset of major emergencies.
Agencies identify and seek to solve issues as they arise. This includes improved internal procedures and processes; and strengthening and broadening cooperation and sharing.
Proactive (mitigation) and post incident (recovery) funding can be insufficient or difficult to access.
As the magnitude and scale of an emergency increases, the effectiveness of the response diminishes.
There is a capability gap between where we are as a state and where we need to be. The next big challenge will be to broaden the preparedness message with better engagement and reach into the community.
The data for the report is collected from Hazard Management Agencies, Emergency Management Agencies, Local Governments and Service Providers. The 2017 report is the most comprehensive with 170 agencies receiving the survey and a 350% increase in data collected compared to 2016.
The 2017 Emergency Preparedness Report is available for download from this website Click here.
The Western Australian government has secured funding from the Royalties for Regions program to support bushfire mitigation activities within and adjacent to regional town sites in WA.
The 2017-18 Mitigation Activity Fund (MAF) round focuses on assisting 15 high-risk priority local governments who have completed their Bushfire Risk Management Plans (BRMPs) to the satisfaction of the Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM).
The 15 local governments will have the opportunity to request funding from the 27 November 2017 to 4 January 2018, with information on eligibility and the application process on the OEM website: www.oem.wa.gov.au/funding/mitigationactivityfund.
For more information about the 2017-18 Mitigation Activity Fund please contact the OEM Grants Manager at email@example.com on 6551 4036.
The 2017 State Award Ceremony was held on the 1 November 2017 during the 10th Australasian Natural Hazards Management Conference 2017 at the University Club of Western Australia. The SEMC Chair, Dr Ron Edwards announced the WA winners.
Lurline Byles a photographer from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services for her "Rescue at Last Light" in the Resilient Australia Photography Award category.
City of Mandurah for their project "Equi-Evac Network Centre" in the Resilient Australia Government Award category.
The City of Mandurah was selected as a national finalist to the 2017 National Resilient Awards. Today, in a ceremony in Sydney, they were successful in winning the National Award. A tremendous achievement for the Western Australian Local Government.
Read the media release from the Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan MP.
Read the media release from the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience.
First of their kind reports on how emergencies could possibly affect communities.The culmination of extensive work involving 119 agencies and 406 participants.Each report outlines the credible worst case risks posed to each district around Western Australia.The reports can be used to inform mitigation options and expenditure priorities to build a more resilient state.
State Risk Project - $3.1 millionState Capability Project - $700,000Response and Capability Subcommittee - $100,000Community Engagement Subcommittee - $100,000Recovery Subcommittee - $100,000
Public submissions open on 12 June 2017 and are due by 9 July 2017. Details regarding the
submission process and terms of reference are available on the OEM's Bushfire Mitigation webpage.
Click here to read full media statement.
Federal Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Western Australian Minister for Emergency Services Fran Logan MLA have announced that Category C measures are now available to help primary producers in the Shire of Lake Grace, the Shire of Ravensthorpe and the City of Swan.
Read full Media Statement
What are Category 'C' measures?
Category 'C' measures relate to a community recovery package designed to support a holistic approach to the recovery of regions, communities or sectors severely affected by a natural disaster.
Grants are designed to provide assistance for clean-up, removal of debris, disposal of dead livestock and reinstatement.
Grants are paid as reimbursement for costs incurred for eligible activities. Primary producers need to pay for costs upfront and subsequently submit a request for reimbursement. If eligible, they may receive up to a maximum of $10,000 (standard) or $25,000 (exceptional circumstances).
The WANDRRA administrators identified the following recovery grants for the three affected local governments below:
For further information, primary producers are encouraged to contact the Department of Agriculture and Food WA on 1800 198 231 or visit their WANDRRA webpage.
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.
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 demonstrate 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.
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 Guidelines. 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.
The OEM has sent the Commonwealth a proposal for the inclusion of overheads under the temporary Day labour, plant and equipment exemption.
The OEM is well aware of the urgency of this issue and endeavours to provide an update as soon as advice is received from the Commonwealth.