Emergency payments are being immediately provided to Local Governments worst hit by cyclone Seroja to assist with their recovery.

Communities with severe cyclone damage will today 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 Local Governments to receive the advanced payments with the potential for more to be included as required.

WALGA President Mayor Tracey Roberts said it was likely the initial payments made to the worst affected areas would only be the start of the financial support from the Association’s LGIS service.

“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 service 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.

Mayor Roberts said the Scheme was 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,” Mayor Roberts said