Lack of After Action Review into cyclone Seroja raises concern with Opposition

Jamie ThannooGeraldton Guardian
Damage in the days after cyclone Seroja tore through Kalbarri.
Camera IconDamage in the days after cyclone Seroja tore through Kalbarri. Credit: Yvonne McKenzie/Wondrous World I/RegionalHUB

The WA Opposition has criticised the State Government for failing to release a review into the cyclone Seroja disaster, and has expressed concern its delay will mean the lessons learnt won’t be able to be implemented as the region potentially faces another dangerous cyclone season.

The opposition said an After Action Review into how cyclone Seroja was handled was long overdue for completion.

Shadow emergency services minister Martin Aldridge said the findings would have been useful as the Bureau of Meteorology predicts an above-average risk of cyclones in WA this wet season.

“The delay in releasing the review into cyclone Seroja, which the Opposition has asked for since December last year, is a missed opportunity to implement lessons learnt from one of WA’s biggest ever natural disasters ahead of the cyclone season,” Mr Aldridge said.

Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Martin Aldridge blocked from visiting DFES emergency volunteers.
Camera IconShadow Minister for Emergency Services Martin Aldridge. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardi/RegionalHUB

Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson was unable to comment on the progress of the review.

Mr Aldridge said it was just once of many delays from the government which was leaving the region unprepared.

“Western Australia is bracing for an above-average cyclone season yet there are communities, particularly in the Mid West, still recovering from cyclone Seroja,” he said.

A government spokesperson said rebuilding efforts were being held back by a number of uncontrollable factors, including struggles with labour and supply shortages, and restrictions on how Commonwealth funding can be spent, for instance preventing money from being spent for economic stimulus, or to build infrastructure that did not exist prior to the cyclone.

“Unfortunately, the Opposition consistently try to politicise the State’s emergency response and recovery efforts for tropical cyclone Seroja, undermining the important role of our hard-working emergency services personnel,” they said.

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