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The Northern Territory Government has announced the opening of disaster assistance for communities impacted by severe flooding in Victoria Daly regional communities in January 2024.

Access to disaster assistance will support recovery through emergency relief assisting hundreds of people displaced during the widespread rain event created by a slow moving tropical low.

The assistance, jointly funded under the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), includes:

  • Category A: personal hardship and distress payments for eligible affected residents; emergency home repairs; and removal of debris and personal and financial counselling
  • Category B: repairs to services and infrastructure, freight subsidies to primary producers and assistance to non-profit organisations, and support for local councils and residents to help with clean-up costs and the restoration of essential public assets

Immediate Hardship Payments include $300 for children, $593 for adults, and $1,493 for families. 

Additional assistance for primary producers and non-profit organisations, including a 50 per cent freight subsidy capped at $5,000 for primary producers and a maximum grant of $10,000 for affected non-profit organisations.

Communities eligible for assistance include individuals affected by evacuations in the Victoria Daly Region under Category A, and Local Government Areas including the Barkly, Litchfield, Roper Gulf, and West Arnhem under Category B.

The floods in mid-January affected communities and surrounding homelands of Kalkarindji, Daguragu, Pigeon Hole, Yarralin and Timber Creek.

Daguragu, Pigeon Hole, Gilwi, Gulardi, One Mile and Myatt were all required to relocate from their communities due to ongoing threat of inundation and power was turned off as the community was evacuated.

The Northern Territory Government sent teams to assess the damage and prepare for recovery and repatriation efforts. This included checking damage to buildings and service infrastructure, the quality of drinking water and sewage, and road conditions.

In late January when the roads were accessible and critical infrastructure had been restored, residents of Daguragu and the communities located around Timber Creek – Gilwi, Gulardi, One Mile and Myatt were able to return home, and Pigeon Hole residents were repatriated to their community.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said both levels of government were working together to deliver the best outcomes for Territorians.

“We are working in lockstep with the Northern Territory Government to ensure assistance is delivered quickly on the ground.”

Mr Watt said the Northern Territory Government is continuing to monitor conditions on the ground, whilst rolling out support as quickly as possible, and will continue to look at other types of assistance that may be needed.

“These disaster assistance measures will support those displaced and experiencing hardship during the immediate recovery from this event, and we will continue to assist with the long term recovery process.”

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Eva Lawler, said the prolonged rain event had caused damage, displacement and disruption to the lives of many in the region.

“With the Victoria River at Timber Creek reaching its highest reading on record, only a year after a similar event, residents have been hit hard a second time.” 

Ms Lawler said that the flooding of the Victoria Highway created an extremely challenging situation, and she thanked emergency services and response staff for their tireless work in restoring services and ensuring the delivery of critical goods to residents.

“The Northern Territory Government is working with emergency services and recovery coordinators to undertake disaster impact assessments to determine the full extent of damage sustained from this event.

“Working with the Federal Government we will ensure the appropriate assistance continues to flow to those affected.”  

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