The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has called for a targeted $200 million per year disaster mitigation fund, for local governments to address the impacts of climate change and help increase Australia’s resiliency.
ALGA President, Linda Scott, said the Association is seeking the disaster mitigation fund as well as an extra $200 million over four years for a Local Government Climate Response Partnership Fund.
“In 2014, the Productivity Commission recommended increased investment in disaster mitigation, but currently less than five per cent of disaster funding in Australia goes towards mitigation and community resilience measures,” Cr Scott said.
“We appreciate the support that has quickly been provided by states and the Commonwealth to households and communities impacted by these devastating floods in Queensland and New South Wales.
“However, we need greater investment in disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation to reduce the severity and impact of future natural disasters.
“The current legislation allows for $200 million per year to be spent from the Federal Government’s $4.8 billion Emergency Management Fund.
“However, since 2019 the Government has only committed $150 million in total from this fund.
“This month’s Federal Budget is an opportunity for the Commonwealth to provide additional assistance that will help protect our communities from increasing disaster events.
“Investing in mitigation makes economic sense, and significantly reduces the costs governments incur during recovery.”
Cr Scott said ALGA is also advocating for a Local Government Climate Response Partnership Fund of $200 million over four years to help councils address the impacts of climate change in their communities.
“Across our nation, we are seeing floods and fires that are more severe, and more destructive,” Cr Scott said.
“Providing our councils with funding to address the impacts of climate change in our communities will help us increase our resilience to future natural disasters.”