The rebuilding and recovery process for flood-devastated parts of Western Australia’s Kimberley region must be led by locals, the head of the Kimberley Land Council has said.
The ‘one-in-100-year’ flood has left remote towns in the region ravaged, with the state’s premier warning it could take months before critical infrastructure is restored.
Rainfall from former tropical cyclone Ellie saw the town of Fitzroy Crossing hit with record water levels with residents evacuated, homes inundated and major damage caused to roads and bridges.
The Fitzroy River Bridge – the only sealed road linking Broome with the rest of the Kimberley – has been almost completely destroyed by floodwaters.
The region was visited by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and state premier Mark McGowan over the weekend where the PM announced a “significant” emergency assistance package for housing repairs and the replacement of household items.
Kimberley Land Council CEO Tyronne Garstone says locals need to be part of the conversation in the rebuilding process.
“I think one message that has come through loud and clear – and this was reiterated to both the Prime Minister and the Premier – was that any rebuild/recovery process has to be locally-led, it has to come from the people on the ground and they have to be the decision-makers regarding any infrastructure rebuild or any resources coming into community.”