Kimberley flood recovery

Page last updated: Thursday, 8 June 2023 - 1:41pm

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is assisting Western Australian primary industries affected by flooding in the Fitzroy River catchment, as part of a whole-of-government response to the severe weather event in January 2023.

This once-in-a-century flood significantly impacted stations, stock and pastoral enterprises.

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements WA

Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFAWA) have been activated to provide assistance to residents and businesses impacted by Ex Tropical Cyclone Ellie and associated flooding, including pastoral enterprises.

The assistance is available in the local government areas of Derby-West Kimberley, Broome, Wyndham-East Kimberley and Halls Creek.

The funding provides assistance for specific recovery activities for eligible primary producers.

The DRFAWA is administered by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES). The primary producer assistance measures are administered by the DPIRD on behalf of DFES. 

For more information on primary producer assistance and to apply click here.

Freight Assistance Program 

A freight assistance program to reduce freight costs for Kimberley businesses impacted by the flood is available.

If you are a business or transport operator freighting goods to or from the Kimberley, you may be eligible for a freight assistance grant.

Assistance rates, eligibility and application process are available in the guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Download FAQs

Download guidelines

Apply now

The Freight Assistance Program is jointly funded through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

For other support and information please see the Emergency WA webpage Kimberley flood recovery information.

An industry webinar regarding freight assistance was hosted on 15 March 2023, which answered questions on applying for the program. The recording is approximatlely 45 minutes, view via the link below: 

Industry webinar on Freight Assistance Program

Slides from webinar on Freight Assistance Program

Rent Relief for Pastoralists

Pastoralists in the Kimberley can apply for rent relief. On the recommendation of the Pastoral Lands Board (PLB), the Minister for Lands may allow a payment of rent for a pastoral lease to be delayed for a specified period or reduced or waived entirely where the lease has been adversely affected by drought, fire, cyclone, flood, or other disaster (section 128 of the Land Administration Act 1997 (LAA)). Each pastoral lessee has to make an individual application to the PLB. 

Pastoralists are asked to send an email to

Financial support and wellbeing

DPIRD acknowledges the distress to Kimberley residents caused by the flooding. Links to a range of financial, family and wellbeing support are available in the Rural Support Services Directory.

Kimberley Aboriginal business and jobseeker support services

The WA Government has a range of Aboriginal business development and employment services to assist those affected by the recent Kimberley flood. The services are available to any Aboriginal business, organisation, community or person in the region. 

This page provides a list of procurement, management and tender support services to help Kimberley-based businesses grow and succeed. Jobseekers can also access a range of culturally sensitive training, employment and career support services which include advice, assistance and access to job search boards.

State Support Plan for Animal Welfare in Emergencies

As part of the response to the flood, the State Support Plan for Animal Welfare in Emergencies was activated, which enabled DPIRD to lead the coordination of response efforts related to animal welfare.

The plan was implemented in association with Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and in liaison with stakeholders, including the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association (KPCA), and Local Government Authorities.

This included DPIRD working with DFES and the KPCA to supply hay at the request of affected pastoral businesses.