A council insurance scheme is assisting areas worst hit by Cyclone Seroja in WA. 

Tropical cyclone Seroja ripped across a 1,000km stretch of Western Australia earlier this month, leaving a trail of damage after it made landfall near the town of Kalbarri with gusts of up to 170km/h.

Residents reported smashed houses, fallen trees and downed power lines.

But now, communities with severe cyclone damage will receive a share of $1 million in advanced payments from the WA Local Government Association’s LGIS service.

The Shires of Northampton, Perenjori and Mingenew will be the first to receive the advanced payments with the potential for more to be included as required.

WALGA President Mayor Tracey Roberts said it is only the start of the financial support.

“Assessment as to the extent of the damage is still underway but early reports are already identifying that in some areas, costs will be well in advance of these initial payments,” she said.

“The primary purpose of immediately releasing funds for the worst affected areas is to help maximise each Local Government’s response to its community’s needs.

“These Local Governments are working around the clock to get services back functioning to support their communities and should not be taking up time applying for funding.”

The WALGA LGIS (Local Government Insurance Scheme) is a mutual indemnity scheme that provides protection for all WA Local Governments across portfolios including property, liability, WorkCare and bushfire volunteers.

Unlike commercial insurance providers, the Scheme is able to respond more quickly to supporting communities with payments in advance of claims.

Cr Roberts said the scheme is also offering counselling support to local government staff through the Employee Assistance Program; a critical area of need that can easily be overlooked.

“The Scheme exists to serve WA Local Governments and it is times such as these when the true value to the sector becomes most apparent,” Cr Roberts said