Tropical Cyclone Marcus - March 2018

Official Name of Eligible NDRRA Event: Tropical Cyclone Marcus – March 2018

Australian Government Reference Number: 800

Date of Activation: 19 March 2018

Local Government Areas Affected: Darwin, Palmerston, Litchfield, Belyuen, Wagait, Coomalie, Tiwi Islands, West Arnhem, West Daly.

Available Categories of Assistance:

  • Category A – 5.2.1 a) Emergency food, clothing or temporary accommodation (until 18 March 2019)
  • Category A – 5.2.1 b) Repair or replacement of essential items and personal effects (until 18 March 2019)
  • Category A – 5.2.1 c) Essential repairs to housing, including temporary repairs and repairs necessary to restore housing to a habitable condition (until 18 March 2019)
  • Category A – 5.2.1 d) Demolition or rebuilding to restore housing to a habitable condition (until 18 March 2019)
  • Category A - 5.2.1 e) Removal of debris from residential properties to make them safe and habitable (until 18 March 2019)
  • Category A – 5.2.1 f) Extraordinary counter disaster operations for the benefit of an affected individual (until 18 March 2019)
  • Category B – 5.3.1 a) Restoration or replacement of an essential public asset (until 30 June 2020)
  • Category B - 5.3.1 k) Counter disaster operations for the protection of the general public (until 30 June 2020)

Allowable Time Limit for Eligible Expenditure: 30.06.2020

Media Releases

The following media release was issued relating to this natural disaster event:

Summary of Event

On 15th March 2018, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued a Tropical Cyclone watch in relation to a Tropical low off the Northern Territory (NT) North Coast. This Tropical low was expected to form into a Tropical Cyclone on the 16th March 2018. At 4:48 am ACST on the 16th of March this watch was upgraded to a warning for Cape Hotham to Maningrida and at 11:04am BoM advised that Tropical Cyclone Marcus had formed off the North Territory north coast, at which time a cyclone warning was issued for Maningrida to the Daly River Mouth, including Darwin and the Tiwi Islands.

On Saturday 17 March 2018, Tropical Cyclone Marcus intensified over the Van Diemen Gulf to a Category 2 strength tropical cyclone on the coast of Darwin, near Shoal Bay. The cyclone sustained winds near the centre of 95 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 130 kilometres per hour as it passed through Darwin, before moving into the Timor Sea later that evening and then onto the north Kimberley region.

The Territory Government submitted the request to recognise Cyclone Marcus as an eligible disaster event under NDRRA on 17 March 2018.

On 20 March 2018, Commonwealth Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Angus Taylor and Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced that through NDRRA, the Territory could now receive financial assistance from the Commonwealth to support the personal hardship and distress assistance, including financial assistance for clean-up operations and to repair any damaged essential public assets.

Summary of Significant Relief and Recovery Achievements to Date

Tropical Cyclone Marcus brought heavy rains and winds in excess of 130 kilometres per hour. This weather event caused significant damage along the Top End north-west coast, resulting in widespread power outages to around 30 000 households. Power was returned to the majority of these households by 20 March 2018, with essential service crews working through the night to restore power. Normal services for government offices and public schools resumed on 20 March 2018.

Enquiries for Available Measures of Assistance

To enquire about Category A assistance for the personal hardship and distress assistance, please contact your local Territory Families office or secureNT.

To enquire about Category B assistance for the restoration or replacement of essential public assets or counter disaster operations assistance, please contact either the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics or call (08) 8924 7530, alternatively, please contact the Department of Housing and Community Development or call (08) 8924 3644.

For further information on recovery assistance, please visit the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website.

Last updated: 18 April 2018