The passing of Disaster Ready Fund (DRF) legislation in Parliament delivering $200 million per year for vital disaster mitigation projects has been welcomed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).
ALGA President Linda Scott said this new funding was critical for protecting Australian communities from disaster events.
“Local government advocacy secured this new Disaster Ready Fund, and we are thrilled the legislation has now passed through the Parliament,” said Cr Scott.
“Less than five percent of disaster mitigation funding in Australia is currently spent on mitigation and community resilience. This needs to change if we are to protect our communities from increasingly frequent floods, fires and cyclones.
“Investing in mitigation makes economic sense, and significantly reduces the costs governments incur during recovery.
“We expect that the new funding for local governments will be ready from next year, and will support councils to invest in flood levees, cyclone shelters, fire breaks and evacuation centres.
“In Queensland, Bundaberg’s flood levee has local and state support but the council is still waiting on a $42 million commitment from the Commonwealth.
“Councils already have mitigation projects in the pipeline, and we are working with the Government on the program guidelines to ensure this funding goes where it is most needed and will do the most good.”
In 2014, the Productivity Commission recommended at least $200 million per year be invested in disaster mitigation, and this program was a key component of ALGA’s recent pre-election advocacy.