$3.9 Billion Emergency Response Fund
2nd May 2019
This month’s budget announcements by Treasurer Hon Josh Frydenberg included the establishment of “a new $3.9 billion Emergency Response Fund that will ensure additional resourcing is available to support future natural disaster recovery efforts”.
It is understood that the fund will allocate up to $150M per annum for natural disaster recovery and response initiatives above and beyond existing funding for severe and catastrophic disasters, and will not interfere with the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. The announcement makes no reference to funding for disaster mitigation, which FMA has long argued needs to be drastically increased if future natural disaster costs are to be contained.
Australia presently spends only 3% on prevention and 97% on clean up and recovery after each flood event, whereas the Netherlands spends 97% of its flood related expenditure on prevention and 3% on recovery. While the announcement of dedicated funding to assist rapid recovery action after floods is welcomed, FMA will continue to campaign for appropriate funding levels for flood mitigation infrastructure and adequate pre-flood preparation.