NDRRA Day Labour exemption granted for WA
Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP says the day labour exemption granted to the WA Government under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements is a great result for local governments across Western Australia.
Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan announced the exemption today, paving the way for a shift in the NDRRA arrangements that will allow WA local governments to use their own staff and equipment to repair damage that occurred during the February floods.
Previously, councils have been forced to use outside contractors if they planned to seek reimbursement under the arrangements.
Mr Wilson, who has been pushing for the day labour exemption since many shires throughout his electorate suffered severe flood damage in February, thanked Minister Keenan for finalising the agreement.
“This was, without a doubt, the most pressing issue for shires in my electorate following the floods in February,” he said.
“It’s been a frustrating wait due to many unfortunate circumstances – a State election, a Government in caretaker mode, changes at departmental levels, and lengthy negotiations between senior bureaucrats,” he said.
“Minister Keenan only received the final proposal from his department today and acted swiftly to ensure local shires don’t have to wait any longer than they already have.
“We’ve seen reports from Shires here in O’Connor that recovery work is costing far more than it should through the use of contractors, who are obviously in high demand due to the extensive damage across the Wheatbelt and Great Southern.
“This change in the WANDRRA arrangements will allow for recovery work to be completed in a much shorter timeframe and at a much lower cost to the taxpayer.”
Minister Keenan and Mr Wilson have been in close contact since major flooding occurred back in February.
“Mr Wilson has been campaigning for this initiative since the floods impacted his electorate to ensure affected local councils have the assistance they need to recover as quickly as possible,” Minister Keenan said.
“The proposed new model will provide states with more autonomy to rebuild in the most effective way including improving the resilience of infrastructure for the long term, while also ensuring better budget control through the upfront estimate of costs.”
Media contact: Andrew Brosnan, 0488 643 593