ALGA calls for more investment in disaster mitigation

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has reiterated its call for establishing a targeted natural disaster mitigation program with funding of $200 million annually for four years.

In a 3000-word submission to the National Natural Disaster Royal Commission, ALGA said local governments had welcomed the Commonwealth’s decision to establish a Commonwealth Emergency Response Fund in 2019 – and had applauded last October’s decision to boost its annual funding from $150 million to $200 million (with an additional $50 million earmarked solely for disaster mitigation projects).

“While this is short of the $200 million in mitigation funding which ALGA has proposed and which is supported by the Productivity Commission, it is nevertheless an opportunity for investment in some mitigation measures,” the submission said. 

“The recurrent nature of the funding is very important and provides an opportunity to establish the effectiveness of mitigation funding, in order to justify its expansion in future years.”

But it noted that “there is a mismatch between the amount of local government infrastructure exposed to climate change risks and the resources that local government have to carry out effective adaptation to manage these risks”.

To strengthen the resilience of local communities, ALGA is also calling for the Federal Government to commit to ensuring that betterment funding is a core element of disaster recovery funding – and that it agree a standard should be developed to support betterment.

The Commission will consider each of the 1400 submissions received so far (with more postal submissions expected) against its terms of reference ahead of upcoming hearings.