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WA Floods following ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie 2022-23

Were you impacted by the 2022-23 Western Australia floods following ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie?

A range of assistance is now available for people, businesses and communities impacted by the Western Australia floods caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie.


Helping Australians recover from devastating natural hazards is a national priority

From December 28, 2022, ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie and the resulting monsoon trough brought unprecedented flooding across large areas of northern Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The destructive floods captured the nation’s attention, disrupting freight and road services and displacing thousands of people. 

The Kimberley region of WA experienced torrential rainfall, recording over 800mm of rain during the 7-day period.

A 700km section of the Great Northern Highway was closed – one of the major transport networks across the north of WA – which isolated communities and prompted concerns over food and medical supplies.

Recovery from this disaster will take some time, and NEMA – in partnership with the West Australian Government - will continue to support the affected communities.


Supporting recovering communities

The Australian Government supported the state-led emergency response, mainly through the provision of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and assets.

This ADF support included:

  • search and rescue and evacuation missions;
  • removing roadblocks;
  • dropping food, water and medical supplies to people cut off by floodwaters; and
  • aerial damage assessments.

The Australian Government also activated financial assistance in the form of the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA).

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off, non-means tested payment of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per child.

Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short-term income support payment to help people who have lost income as a direct result of the disaster.

You can find out more about the AGDRP and DRA on the Services Australia website.

Joint Commonwealth-State assistance was activated through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for four (4) Local Government Areas – Broome, Derby West Kimberley, Halls Creek and Wyndham East Kimberley.

This includes:

  • Emergency assistance for individuals:
    • Temporary living expenses
    • Replacement of essential household contents
    • Housing repairs or replacement
    • Personal and financial counselling
  • Assistance for small businesses and primary producers:
    • Interest rate subsidy
    • Freight subsidies for primary producers
    • Reimbursement of fees for professional advice
  • Assistance for state agencies and local councils:
    • Counter disaster operation assistance
    • Restoration of essential public assets.

Under Category D of the DRFA, the Australian and WA governments are also providing:

  • Freight Subsidy Package: Financial assistance for impacted industries and businesses to reduce the impact of the increased freight costs to and/or from the Kimberley region
  • Temporary Accommodation: Short-medium term temporary residential accommodation while damaged homes are repaired or rebuilt..
  • Community and Industry Recovery Officer Program: To provide support to impacted industry, businesses and communities in the Kimberley for recovery activities.
  • Clean-Up Program: To assist flood affected communities to clean-up public spaces, residences and businesses.

Detailed break-down of assistance:

Western Australia ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie and flooding (28 December 2022 – January 2023)


Australian Defence Force support 

  • At its peak, approximately 275 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel were committed across aviation, general duties support, logistics, and coordination elements
  • From 6 January - 9 February, support was provided to relocate flood affected people; provide general duties personnel; and assist with emergency logistics resupply.
  • From 10 January – 23 February; two planners supported the recovery planning.
  • Provided1 x C-130J Hercules, 2 x C-27 J Spartan fixed wing aircraft and 3 x MRH-90 Taipan and 2 x CH-47F Chinook helicopters. The aircraft transported approximately 510 tonnes of emergency relief supplies and 1233 passengers.
  • The Mobile Air Operations Team (MAOT) provided air traffic control services for 4,705 sorties conducted by civilian and Defence aircraft around Fitzroy Crossing.

Flood-affected Communities supported included Djugerari, Jarlmadangah, Muludja, Fossil Downs, Ngumpan, Ngalingkadji, Bayulu, Mt Barnett, Halls Creek, Derby, Curtin, Kununurra, Balginjirr and Noonkanbah.

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) 

  • One off payment of $1000 for eligible adults and $400 for children. 
  • Available in local government area of Derby West Kimberley. 
  • Equivalent assistance for New Zealand ‘non-protected’ special category visa (subclass 444) holders. 


As of midnight14 May, 2328 AGDRP payments have been made, worth $2,808,000.

Claims are open until 12 July 2023. Visit the Services Australia website to apply.

Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) 

  • Up to 13 weeks of income support payments to eligible employees and sole traders. 
  • Available in the four (4) local government areas of: Broome, Derby West Kimberley, Halls Creek and Wyndham East Kimberley. 
  • Equivalent assistance for New Zealand ‘non-protected’ special category visa (subclass 444) holders. 


As of midnight 14 May, 111 DRA payments have been made, worth a total of $445,173 .


Claims are open until 6 July 2023. Visit the Services Australia website to apply.

 Rebuilding of key infrastructure

Flooding caused significant damage to sections of the Great Northern Highway at Willare Crossing and Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley.

The Australian Government and WA Government, will undertake emergency road recovery works under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

The initial activity includes emergency works to reconnect the region, the installation of the low-level crossing at Fitzroy Crossing, the barge infrastructure and operation, Gibb River Road reinstatement works and permanent repairs at Willare and Fitzroy Crossing.

Work on the first temporary Fitzroy River low-level crossing, a five metre-wide 200 metre-long, single-lane rock causeway, has been completed and is now open to 4WD 4WD tourist buses and 4wds towing caravans and trailers.

Work is due to commence shortly on a second temporary crossing suitable for higher traffic volumes and larger vehicles that are expected over the upcoming dry season.

To find out more information on the bridge openings, visit Kimberly flood response.


To find out what assistance is being provided by the Australian and Western Australian governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, visit Kimberley flood response.

Financial assistance for individuals 

(DRFA Category A) 

  • For people experiencing hardship and distress as a result of the flooding.  
  • Emergency financial assistance to repair or replace essential household items, or carry out essential repairs to your house.   

Temporary Accommodation package:  

(DRFA Category D) 

  • Temporary residential accommodation while damaged homes are repaired or rebuilt.  

Freight SubsidypProgram 

(DRFA Category D) 

  • Reduced freight costs for impacted Kimberley industries and businesses. 
  • The subsidy will be calculated as a claim for the difference between pre-flood and post-flood freight costs and paid directly to freight operators.
  • There is also a subsidy for businesses and infrequent freight receivers established on a per pallet rate.
  • Can be backdated to 1 January 2023. 

Clean-Up program


  • Councils, individuals and businesses will be reimbursed for costs incurred when carrying out clean-up activities.
  • Eligible clean-up activities include the immediate clean-up and debris removal from residences and local communities that is already underway, as well as current and future works such as the disposal of hazardous waste and demolition debris.

Community and Industry Recovery Officer program


  • Community Recovery Officers and Cultural Navigators to be placed in Fitzroy Crossing and Derby Recovery Hubs, as well as pop-up hubs and outreach services in Bayulu, Kupungarri, Camballin and other impacted communities.
  • Industry Recovery Officer to work alongside impacted industries and businesses.
  • A community Recovery Working Group will be formalised to ensure community leaders are effectively engaged in the recovery decision-making and the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley will receive funding for additional recovery resources.
  • The program will fund up to 20 recovery positions for a period of up to two years.

Assistance to primary producers (DRFA Category A and B) 

  • Includes reimbursement grants for professional advice, freight subsidy, and an interest subsidy on a new loan taken out to fund recovery costs. 

Assistance to state agencies and local councils 

(DRFA Category B)  

Counter disaster operations:  

  • Helps state agencies and councils with the costs associated with delivering exceptional relief and recovery measures within impacted communities, which go beyond the capacity of the state or local government.  

Restoration of essential public assets:  

  • Helps with the costs of restoring or repairing eligible essential public assets or infrastructure damaged as a direct result of a disaster to their pre-disaster function. 


To find out what assistance is being provided by the Western Australian Government visit Kimberley flood response