Shire chips in for residents affected by cyclone Seroja

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
Email Geoff Vivian
Chapman Valley Shire President Anthony Farrell says ‘every little bit helps’ when it comes to waiving shire fees for people rebuilding after Cyclone Seroja.
Camera IconChapman Valley Shire President Anthony Farrell says ‘every little bit helps’ when it comes to waiving shire fees for people rebuilding after Cyclone Seroja. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian, Iain Gillespie

Chapman Valley Shire Council passed two financial measures this week to help people affected by tropical cyclone Seroja.

Property owners intending to repair or replace buildings damaged in the storm will not have to pay building or planning application fees for works related to demolition or rebuilding.

Shire president Anthony Farrell described these as “little fees and charges” that all added up.

“When someone has been under the pump through a disaster like that, every little bit helps,” he said.

Acting chief executive Simon Lancaster said this would provide some minor financial assistance to residents as they began the process of recovery.

The council then voted to contribute $5000 to the BlazeAid camp at the Yuna community centre.

Last month the council voted to underwrite the camp for the same amount, but at this week’s meeting Cr Kirralee Warr moved to make a donation instead.

Mr Lancaster said it was “feasible and economically reasonable” to make a one-off contribution to this disaster recovery project.

He said the formal process of underwriting the volunteer BlazeAid project would have been an “onerous task” to financially analyse information from unknown databases, varying sponsors and donations offered across various individuals and community groups.

BlazeAid is an Australia-wide volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods.

WA currently has two BlazeAid camps, at Brigadoon and Yuna.

The group continues to use the Shire’s Yuna depot as an equipment storage area.

Chapman Valley councillors have also voted not to increase their annual allowances for the coming financial year.

The Shire president is paid $10,000 and the deputy Shire president $2500, while all councillors receive a $500 annual communication allowance and $50 annual travel allowance.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails