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Aus PM announces support for victims of record flooding

Canberra, Jan 9 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Monday announced federal support for victims of severe flooding in Western Australia (WA) state.

Earlier in the day, Albanese toured communities affected by unprecedented flooding in the state’s remote Kimberley region with WA Premier Mark McGowan,reports Xinhua news agency.

Since December 30, 2022, parts of the region have received up to 500 mm of rain as former tropical cyclone Ellie made landfall, causing the Fitzroy River to break its banks.

Hundreds of residents have been airlifted out of affected communities after roads were inundated, leaving farms to rely on airdrops to keep livestock alive.

Albanese announced joint federal and state disaster recovery funding for four WA shires and one in the Northern Territory (NT).

Affected residents will be eligible for grants to repair their homes and replace damaged goods.

The Prime Minister said the biggest challenge would be repairing heavily damaged infrastructure.

“Quite clearly there’s going to be massive infrastructure investment required,” he told local media.

“There will also be required support for individuals. And that support needs to be not just financial, of course, but we need to bear in mind the need for counselling and support as well.”

Concerns that the NT would face more flooding eased on Sunday as Ellie subsided and severe weather warnings were cancelled.

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