Cth invests $50m in flood mitigation fund for state, LG projects

A $50 million National Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Fund has been set up by the Federal Government to help communities to better prepare for extreme weather events and flooding.

The program has been established under the Emergency Response Fund and aligns with recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework, and findings of the State of the Climate Report 2020.

Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the funding initiative will support state, territory and local governments to improve or construct essential public infrastructure to better withstand severe flood events.

“This initiative was determined by Emergency Management Australia (EMA) based on their consultations about the types of projects that could support the ERFs objectives,” he said.

“The foundations of our national emergency management arrangements remain strong, however, the events of the past 12 months have compelled us to re-examine how we prepare for and manage emergencies.

“We need to adjust our approach from focusing on our emergency services responding to major flood events, to all sectors of the community, including all levels of government, helping prevent and mitigate disasters,” Minister Littleproud said.

Emergency Management Australia, within the Department of Home Affairs, will lead the delivery of the program, bringing together emergency management and infrastructure experts from across the Australian Government.

Applications for funding under the 2020/21 program will open on 21 December 2020.

In related news, the Hobart City Council’s response to an extreme weather event in 2108 has been recognised with a Resilient Australia National Local Government Award.

After much of the city was inundated by the May 2018 deluge, the council obtained Community Recovery and Resilience Grants Program funding for a project focusing on the recovery and resilience needs of impacted individuals and communities.

One initiative from its “Resilient Hobart” project involved providing flood-effected people the opportunity to record their stories for posterity via podcasts, a photo gallery, and a short film – while another involved setting up new permanent work of public art as the basis for acknowledging the destructive power of nature.

Two other initiatives were conceived to build capacity to respond to future emergencies:

  • community members were invited to form voluntary working groups to assess their respective suburb’s resilience using the Torrens Community Disaster Resilience Scorecard; and
  • community service providers and community leaders were provided with the tools and awareness to prepare for and act in an emergency through a series of workshops facilitated by the Australian Red Cross.

Awards commendations went to the Shire of Bruce Rock in WA and Queensland’s Scenic Rim Regional Council.

Click here for more details of the 2020 Resilient Australia Local Government Awards.