Australians vulnerable to bushfires, floods and cyclones could have their homes upgraded to make them more resistant with new federal funding to combat natural disasters.
In the wake of the horrific 2019 bushfires and floods and cyclones this year, Scott Morrison is setting up the National Recovery and Resilience Agency to respond to future catastrophes.
The agency will be given $600million for beefing up the defences of regional communities and training emergency services to deal with disasters.
Australians whose homes are vulnerable to bushfires, floods and cyclones could have them upgraded to make them more resistant. Pictured: The Gospers Mountain Fire in December 2019
Projects will include bushfire and cyclone proofing houses, building levees and improving the resilience of telecommunications and essential supplies.
The new agency was recommended by the natural disaster Royal Commission and will begin work on July 1.
It will be led by Coordinator-General Shane Stone and bring together the former National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency and the National Bushfire Recovery Agency, including the $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
The agency will support the long-term recovery of communities devastated by recent storms and floods in New South Wales and Queensland and cyclones in Western Australia.
‘In the past two years Australians have faced floods, bushfires, cyclones, drought and now the Covid-19 pandemic and I’m determined to keep Australians safe and support the recovery of communities and regions right across Australia,’ Scott Morrison said.
Under the reforms, Emergency Management Australia will receive support to upgrade its National Situation Room to include a real time ‘common operating picture’ for all natural disasters.
Projects will include bushfire and cyclone proofing houses, building levees and improving the resilience of telecommunications and essential supplies. Pictured: Cyclone-damaged buildings April in Kalbarri, WA
Meanwhile, $4.5million will be spent on disaster recovery scenario training to help regional communities prepare for high-risk hazards.
‘This funding will provide accredited training for people working in disaster recovery and two pilot Resilience Hubs to coordinate regional training and capability development across all levels of government when responding to a natural disaster,’ said Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud.
The government is also establishing The Australian Climate Service – manned by top scientists – to help predict when a disaster might happen.
‘We do face more extreme weather events due to changing climate and this is about being prepared, and being able to take steps to make our communities more resilient,’ said Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley.
The service will be a collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO, ABS and Geoscience Australia.
‘I’m determined to keep Australians safe and support the recovery of communities and regions right across Australia,’ Scott Morrison said