Flooded town

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the newly passed $200 million Disaster Ready Fund, stating that it is pivotal to protect disaster-prone Australian communities, as well as a smart economic move to reduce government recovery costs.

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.

ALGA President, Linda Scott, said the ALGA is thrilled the legislation, which will deliver the recommended $200 million a year for disaster mitigation projects, has now passed through the Parliament, and praised the local government advocacy which worked to secure it.

“Less than five per cent 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,” Cr Scott said.

“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.”

Image: AGLA

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