News State NT News Cyclone Lam repairs to cost over $100m

Cyclone Lam repairs to cost over $100m

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The repair bill for the damage done by Cyclone Lam will cost more than $100 million, the Northern Territory government says.

On Tuesday the initial figure was put at $82.4 million to repair housing, but Chief Minister Adam Giles told Parliament on Wednesday the total repair cost would be “well over $100 million”.

It is understood that part of that will be funded by the Commonwealth under a joint disaster relief funding agreement.

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“The work around infrastructure, power, water and sewerage cabling, telecommunications and the like, there’s going to be a lot of civil costs involved,” Mr Giles said, but stressed it was too early to estimate the full cost.

Emergency response teams have since Saturday been assessing the damage in the four remote indigenous communities of Galiwinku, Milingimbi, Ramingining and Gapuwiyak.

Mr Giles says 61 homes in Galiwinku are so badly damaged as to be uninhabitable, while 211 have been assessed as habitable, with minor damage to 56 properties.

A family seek refuge at Shepherdson College cyclone shelter in Galiwinku, one of the worst hit communities. Photo: AAP
A family seek refuge at Shepherdson College cyclone shelter in Galiwinku, one of the worst hit communities. Photo: AAP

In Milingimbi, 19 homes have been written off, with minor damage to another 82 homes, displacing about 100 residents.

In the neighbouring community of Ramingining, 24 homes were destroyed, with minor damage to 66.

Repairs crews were focused first on fixing homes with only minor damage so residents could return, Mr Giles said.

The NT government is setting up a mobile shelter previously used to house NSW bushfire victims, which should be ready by Sunday for those in Galiwinku who cannot yet return to their homes.

There are about 90 people sheltering in the gymnasium of Shepherdson College, but the school will reopen on Tuesday, Mr Giles says.

The short-term camp will include heavy-duty shelters with hard floors that can accommodate up to 300 residents.

“The creation of an accommodation camp also means the school can reopen and kids can get back to class. This is an important step in the recovery process,” Mr Giles said in a statement.

“This is an immediate solution for the next few weeks but we are looking at other accommodation options that can be provided by local Territory companies while the wider rebuilding work is done.”

A state of emergency has been extended across the four communities, to be re-evaluated on Friday.

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