Wooroloo fire: Federal Government establish bushfire disaster recovery payments for affected West Australians
Western Australians affected by the devastating Wooroloo bushfires will be able to access disaster payments of up to $1000 each after the blaze claimed more than 70 homes.
The Federal Government announced the measures today as fire fighters in WA continue to battle the fires in the face of worsening conditions, declaring “the Australian people are here to support you”.
Natural Disaster and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud opened disaster recovery payments for those people whose homes had been lost or damaged, and said it was time for the east coast to “reciprocate” the support the west offered during last year’s Black Summer fires.
“This is simply to give them some dignity and respect in a trying time, to allow them to know they will be able to get the essentials,” he said.
“This is an initiation of a payment to let those people who have been impacted by this know the Federal Government is there to support them.
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“We will continue to make sure there are further assessments made and if there is further support that is required, we will do whatever it takes.”
The payments offer $1000 per adult and $400 per child available from 8am tomorrow.
“The Australian people are here to support you,” he said.
“Please do not think there should be any stigma about asking for support in our hour of need. We are a rich country and we should support one another when times are tough.
“Western Australia was there for us on the east coast last year. It is time for us to reciprocate.”
Australian Defence Force assets were sent to WA yesterday to help fight the fires, with other federal assets “on stand-by” for the State to call on, if needed.
Mr Littleproud urged Western Australians to exercise caution in coming days, with men and women putting “their lives on the line” to fight the fires.
“You have a responsibility to them to do as they ask,” he said.
“This is a serious situation and it can't be a ‘she’ll be right’ sort of attitude to this.”
He confirmed there would be “further announcements” between the Federal Government and the WA Government in relation to the fire effort.
DISASTER PAYMENTS, HOW MUCH IS IT?
- $1000 for adults
- $400 for children under 16 years old
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
- The payment is available to eligible people whose homes have been severely damaged, or destroyed or who have been seriously injured as a direct result of the fires.
- People can also claim Disaster Recovery Allowance, which is a short-term payment to help those who have lost income as a direct result of a declared disaster. This is available for up to 13 weeks, starting from the date you lose income.
HOW AND WHEN TO APPLY
- Claims can be lodged from 8am to 5pm AWST starting on Thursday. The fastest way to lodge a claim is by calling 180 22 66.
- Western Australians have been urged not to visit Services Australia centres in person “unless it is absolutely essential”.
- For more information on support available visit www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster
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