MEDIA RELEASE - 12 months on from the Kimberley Floods

Published on Wednesday, 10 January 2024 at 11:58:29 AM



12 Months on from the Kimberley Floods




10 January 2024                                                                                                         For immediate release


A year later, as we reflect on the extraordinary strength and unity that have defined our communities since the unprecedented floods caused by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie, The Shire of Derby/West Kimberley wishes to express our heartfelt appreciation to each and every one of you who confronted the challenges with unwavering courage.

The journey of recovery following the record rainfall received from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie has been one of both hardship and triumph. The West Kimberley faced challenges not seen or experienced in many years and in particular Fitzroy Crossing, 11 Aboriginal communities, Camballin Township and pastoral stations were significantly impacted. Despite being in the face of adversity, the resilient spirit of the West Kimberley has shined through.

As we reflect on the last 12 months of the recovery after the floods, there are several positive developments that we are pleased to share. The establishment of the local Fitzroy Valley Flood Hub has played a crucial role in providing relief, information and assistance to those affected by the floods. Outreach efforts have extended to Kupungarri (a Gibb River Road Community) and Camballin, linking impacted residents with agencies, legal support and community groups. Additionally, the Hub has facilitated case management and support to aid in the rebuilding process.

Of the many achievements, one of particular note is the successful reconstruction of the Fitzroy Crossing Bridge, a vital lifeline for our community. After sustaining significant damage during the floods, its restoration not only reinstates a crucial infrastructure link but also symbolizes our collective resilience and determination to rebuild and move forward.

Other achievements;

In Kupangarri flood-impacted housing has been repaired, allowing families to return to their homes. Community outreach efforts have focused on bringing the community together to share, inform, build relationships and reconnect with agencies and non-profit providers to access services and funding.

The Youth Program has been strengthened and extended to support young people dealing with the effects of the floods across Derby and Fitzroy Crossing. Local events have increased to provide a platform for impacted residents to share their stories and reconnect after the trauma, including the ‘Stronger Together’ event back in October.

Disaster Relief Australia has played a vital role in assisting with the clean-up of research facilities and staff accommodation for the Australian Wildlife Conservations at Mornington Wilderness Camp, as well as for Biridu Community and residents on Yurabi Road in Fitzroy.

Road works have been undertaken to reconnect local communities, with Bungardi and Yurabi Roads being sealed. The Shire has collaborated with the Department of Communities in the rollout of temporary housing where required, supporting the installation of road access, building of housing pads, and utilizing Shire staff and contractors.

The recovery process has been ongoing, with various government initiatives in place to support those affected. The Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) financial assistance and applications for recovery grants remain open. We encourage those who are eligible to apply.

Addressing the social and emotional well-being issues highlighted by the flood remains a priority. The Shire in collaboration with the Fitzroy Valley Flood Recovery Working Group, government agencies and local community organisations, remain committed to empowering place-based solutions and community-led decision making.

Looking ahead, we remain optimistic about the future and are dedicated to the build back better philosophy. The key priorities for the West Kimberley communities include the reconstruction of permanent housing, the restoration of social and emotional wellbeing within the communities, the re-establishment of the economic structure through the promotion of local employment and the rebuilding of resilience through the renewal of critical infrastructure like bridges, roads, airports and evacuation centre/multipurpose centre.

The Shire is fully dedicated to upholding a holistic approach to recovery, ensuring that the process is community-led. This commitment underscores our belief in the importance of engaging and empowering the community in shaping its own recovery journey. By addressing these priorities collaboratively and comprehensively, we aim to not only recover from the challenges posed by the floods but also to emerge stronger, more resilient and better prepared for the future.




For media information:

Peter McCumstie

Shire President

Shire of Derby/West Kimberley             

PO Box 94 Derby WA 6728                    

08 9191 0999 I


Amanda Dexter

Chief Executive Officer

Shire of Derby/West Kimberley             

PO Box 94 Derby WA 6728                    

08 9191 0999 I 


Maria O’Connell

Media Officer

Shire of Derby/West Kimberley

PO Box 94 Derby WA 6728

08 9191 0999 I                                                               

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