Reconstruction and effects on Darwin
In February 1975, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam announced the creation of the Darwin Reconstruction Commission, which was given the task of rebuilding the city "within five years". The Commission was headed by Tony Powell. The damage to the city was so severe that some advocated moving the entire city. However, the government insisted that it be rebuilt in the same location. By May 1975, Darwin's population had recovered somewhat, with 30,000 residing in the city. Temporary housing, caravans, hotels and an ocean liner MV Patris, were used to house people, as reconstruction of permanent housing had not yet begun by September that year.
However, by the following April, and after receiving criticism for the slow speed of reconstruction, the Commission had built 3,000 new homes in the nearly destroyed northern suburbs, and completed repairs to those that had survived the storm. Several new building codes were drawn up, trying to achieve the competing goals of the speedy recovery of the area and ensuring that there would be no repeat of the damage that Darwin took in 1974. By 1978, much of the city had recovered and was able to house almost the same number of people as it had before the cyclone hit. However, as many as sixty percent of Darwin's 1974 population were no longer living in the city in the 1980s. In the years that followed, Darwin was almost entirely rebuilt and now shows almost no resemblance to the Darwin of December 1974