A worker clearing gutters on a flooded street.

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the first round of the Federal Government’s Disaster Ready Fund (DRF), which is set to fund 187 new disaster mitigation projects. 

This funding is available to State and Territory Governments, working with local governments and communities, for building infrastructure such as flood levees, seawalls and hazard warning systems to protect communities, homes, livelihoods and critical public infrastructure.

ALGA President, Linda Scott, said the $200 million per year DRF was critical for protecting Australian communities from future disasters.

“We strongly advocated to the Government for this funding in the lead up to last year’s election, and were thrilled when it was announced and later enshrined in legislation,” Cr Scott said.

“Unfortunately, less than five percent of disaster mitigation funding in Australia is spent on mitigation and community resilience. This needs to change if we are to better protect our communities from increasingly frequent floods, fires and cyclones.”

There were 46 declared disasters covering more than 300 local government areas in 2022 alone.

“Local governments across the country have disaster mitigation projects ready to go, and this funding will help them deliver these projects and better safeguard their communities,” Cr Scott said.

“Investing in mitigation makes economic sense, and significantly reduces the costs governments incur during recovery.

“We sincerely thank Emergency Management Minister, Senator Murray Watt, for this first round of funding, and look forward to working with him to ensure future rounds of funding are provided where it will make the biggest difference.”

A list of funded projects is available here.

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