The Australian Government has extended the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) to support those heavily affected by Tropical Cyclone Seroja in Western Australia with over $300,000 paid to cyclone affected residents to date.
People in the Carnamah, Chapman Valley, Greater Geraldton, Mingenew, Morawa, Perenjori and Three Springs local government areas can now access the support package.
Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the package provided assistance to those who had suffered significant losses due to Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
“The AGDRP provides a one-off payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children, who have been seriously injured, lost their homes or whose homes have been directly damaged as a direct result of Tropical Cyclone Seroja,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The DRA provides a short-term income support payment to assist individuals whose income has been affected as a direct result of Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
“These seven local government areas are in addition to the local government area of Northampton.”
Minister for Government Services, Linda Reynolds, said Services Australia staff have mobilised and are providing immediate on-the-ground support to people affected by the devastating cyclone in Western Australia.
“Supporting communities through crisis is what Services Australia is geared to do and we have a dedicated Mobile Service Team to support residents with the current disaster response effort,” Minister for Government Services Linda Reynolds said.
“There may be some disruption at Services Australia service centres in affected areas over coming days. We ask that people who use these services to access them via online or over the phone where possible. I urge people to heed local emergency services warnings and do not travel unless safe to do so.
“Services Australia staff on the phones are on standby ready to help affected residents. The fastest and easiest way to claim disaster assistance is by calling the Disaster Assistance phone line on 180 22 66.”
Services Australia Disaster Assistance phone lines are open from 8:00am to 5:00pm local time, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm local time, Saturday to Sunday. For more information on support available, visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster.
People eligible for DRA can access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of Jobseeker Payment or Youth Allowance.
Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (‘nonprotected’ Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
The Australia Government will continue assessing the impacts of the disaster and will offer further support if necessary.