ALGA has received advice confirming that the Federal Government endorsed the natural disaster recovery funding reforms in the 2018-19 Federal Budget.
In 2015, the Productivity Commission handed down its final report into the efficacy of natural disaster funding arrangements, finding recovery funding for the rebuilding of essential public assets should be based on upfront assessments of damage and pre-determined pricing.
On this basis, members of the former COAG Law, Crime and Community Safety Council agreed that a new funding model should be investigated.
Through a series of nine national workshops, representatives from ALGA and relevant state and territory government agencies met to settle the detail of new Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements 2018 that will come into effect nationally on 1 November 2018.
These arrangements include the provisions of the current Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements Determination 2017 (where applicable) with minor editorial amendments to reflect what has been agreed at the senior officials level. They will also introduce a new nationally-developed funding model for the rebuilding of essential public assets under Category B, and the new Category A measure allowing jurisdictions to engage a Community Recovery Officer early in the recovery effort to assist individuals, families and communities receiving emergency assistance.
It has taken extensive work and ongoing commitment over the past few years to advance these important policy reforms and ensure the new agreements meet the needs of all levels of government. Importantly, the new Category B funding model will afford greater autonomy for state and local governments to deliver practical reconstruction solutions, reduce red tape and assure appropriate fiscal support following an event.
The new arrangements and the five guidelines will be made available on the Australian Government Disaster Assist website at https://www.disasterassist.gov.au