NEW WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannan MacTiernan has had a first-hand look at the damage caused by recent flooding in the State's Great Southern and Esperance regions.
Ms MacTiernan, who has been in the new role for less than two weeks, and her parliamentary secretary Darren West, toured the worst-affected areas in Albany, Ravensthorpe, Newdegate and surrounds earlier this week.
The minister was briefed by shire representatives from Esperance, Lake Grace, Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe, and travelled with local farmers and growers groups to assess the impact of the major event.
She said the damage bill was expected to cost local government more than $37.5 million.
Ms MacTiernan assured everyone she would work to speed up bureaucratic processes to ensure reparation works were completed quickly and efficiently.
"The financial consequences for a lot of these low rate-base shires is pretty enormous and it's very clear that we have to now move quickly to try to get the issues surrounding emergency relief settled so that we can move forward," she said.
"One of the challenges that we have and what I really want to work on is how we get our bureaucracy in the regions stronger, how we get it responsive.
"I'll certainly be talking to my ministerial colleagues and pointing out that this has been a one-in-300 year event."
Several shires were already out of pocket, and had applied for Category C funding through Western Australia National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (WANDRRA).