Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby slammed by ‘forgotten’ Kalbarri residents for Cyclone Seroja response

Briana FioreThe West Australian
Tropical Cyclone Seroja damage.
Camera IconTropical Cyclone Seroja damage. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby has copped flak from cyclone-affected communities who feel they’ve been “forgotten”.

A restaurant owner in Kalbarri questioned why businesses in Perth and Peel were getting compensation following a three-day lockdown when she had not received much support three weeks after Cyclone Seroja.

She claimed the State Government had not given businesses in town “a cent”.

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However, Mr Whitby hit back at those claims, assuring the communities they had not been forgotten.

“My heart goes out to (those affected) and everyone with a business, not just in Kalbarri but (everyone) who may have been impacted by cyclone Seroja,” Mr Whitby said on ABC Radio.

He said there had been support to those communities and promised the State Government was in the “final stages” of developing an assistance plan to help households and businesses.

Premier Mark McGowan visits cyclone damaged Kalbarri with Emergency Minister Reece Whitby.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan visits cyclone damaged Kalbarri with Emergency Minister Reece Whitby. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

“We are working on that very hard at the moment and hope to make that announcement soon,” he said.

Mr Whitby confirmed he was looking at cash payments as part of the package.

He said it was important the financial assistance got to the people who needed it.

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