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Western Australia's bushfire declared natural disaster

(Xinhua)

17:29, November 28, 2011

SYDNEY, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Government of Western Australia (WA) on Monday formally declared the bushfire in the state's Margaret River region a natural disaster.

WA Premier Colin Barnett said the impact of the fires on the community met the criteria to be declared an 'Eligible Natural Disaster' for the purposes of the Western Australia Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (WANDRRA).

The declaration means primary producers and small businesses will be eligible for grants of up to 15,000 AU dollars (14,765 U.S. dollars).

In addition to the WANDRRA funding, families who lost their primary place of residence will be able to claim up to 3,000 AU dollars (2,953 U.S. dollars) and families who had significant damage to their homes will be able to get 1000 AU dollars (984 U.S. dollars).

"I saw firsthand the devastation this fire has caused, it is a very tragic situation," the Premier said in a statement on Monday.

The Department of Environment and Conservation said on Monday the fire which destroyed 32 houses, five sheds and nine chalets at the towns of Gnarabup and Redgate, has been brought under control.

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