WA: Virgin Australia is offering cheap flights to help recover from the Kimberley flood

The Western Australian government has announced a $6 million package to aid tourism in the state’s flood-stricken Kimberley region, including 19,000 discount flights.

Recovery efforts are still ongoing after weeks of heavy rains from ex-Tropical Cyclone Eli sent the Fitzroy River to record levels, flooding homes and businesses, and destroying parts of critical transportation infrastructure.

The spillover effects are expected to hurt a number of industries, one of which is tourism.

Announcing the tourism flood recovery package on Friday, Tourism Minister Roger Cook said popular tourist areas such as Broome, Derby and Kununurra are ready and waiting to welcome visitors for the upcoming tourism season.

“I urge all travelers with holidays planned to the Kimberley to keep their bookings or hold them until the time is right, rather than cancel,” Mr Cook said.

“I appeal to everyone to add a trip to the Kimberley to their travel plans for 2023.”

The package includes discount flights, voucher incentives and a national marketing campaign.

About 19,000 Virgin Australia flights will be offered after negotiations with the state government.

Tourists can book flights from Perth to Broome from $219 one way, and Perth to Kununurra from $259 one way, for travel from March 27 to October 29 this year.

Meanwhile, Wheatbelt Development Committee CEO Rob Cossart has been appointed State Recovery Coordinator to help the Kimberley community get back on their feet.

The Kimberley Restoration Coordinator will also be appointed to work alongside Mr Cossaert to help organize community and industry involvement.

“Rob Cossaert brings extensive experience in the Kimberley and is respected as an outstanding community leader, making him the ideal choice to lead this significant recovery effort,” said Washington State Secretary of Emergency Services Stephen Dawson.

Meanwhile, major road crews remain in the Kimberley State, repairing damaged stretches of the Great Northern Highway, as well as damaged bridges at Fitzroy and Wheeler Crossings.

They are still waiting for the heavy machinery to reach the areas where the damage is most severe, as the floodwaters continue to slowly recede.

The Lord Mayor’s Crisis Relief Fund appeal for the Kimberley floods, set up in the aftermath of the disaster by the City of Perth, has topped $11 million in donations as of Friday afternoon.

The fund was augmented by a $3 million donation from the state government.

Originally published as Discounted flights offered to help tourism operators devastated by flood

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