Almost four months after Cyclone Lam destroyed homes in Galiwinku community on the NT’s Elcho Island, families have been moved into the first lot of temporary transportable houses.
Cyclone Lam hit on February 20 as a category four storm, followed a month later by category three Cyclone Nathan.
There were no serious injuries or deaths, but over 300 people were displaced with around 200 people living in a tent city while waiting for more permanent accommodation.
More than 80 houses in Galiwinku were severely damaged and Chief Minister Adam Giles said in a statement it will take many months to rebuild them.
“These transportable houses ensure these residents will have suitable, comfortable accommodation until they can move back into their homes,” he said.
The accommodation is being progressively installed around the community.
Each one is made up of two transportable buildings joined by a covered breezeway, providing accommodation for around ten people.
Housing Minister Bess Price says they were designed in consultation with Elcho Island community leaders.
Mr Giles said last month’s NT budget included $90 million for recovery and rebuilding work but the total cost across four communities is expected to tip $100 million.
He said the government was working with community leaders in Galiwinku, Ramingining, Milingimbi and Gapuwiyak to create jobs, training and business development opportunities through the rebuilding process.
The first phase of the rebuilding program involves repairing half of the most damaged houses to get most seriously affected families back into permanent accommodation.
This will be followed by a longer-term three to four year training and jobs program so community members can make the most of the twin disasters.
The last of the transportable homes are expected to be installed by the end of June.