$4m shot in the arm for projects to reduce natural disaster risk

Five national projects to reduce the risk and impact of natural disasters on Australian communities are getting $4.2 million in new federal funding.

The largest grant of $3 million will go to the Bushfire Building Council of Australia to develop a self-assessment app to provide site-specific mitigation guidelines to improve resilience.

The CSIRO will receive just over $1 million to invest in three projects to:

  • Develop an online tool for identification of community evacuation risk hotspots for bushfires;
  • Advance development of an evacuation modelling tool for use in operational, strategic and risk planning by emergency sector stakeholders; and
  • Develop and deliver a post-bushfire survey app (and training) for use by professionals in assessing loss context, cause and vulnerability.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) is getting $170,000 to build a framework to assess the vulnerability of Aboriginal cultural heritage to fire.

All five projects support the objectives and priorities of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework, as well as the recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

The funding forms part of a five-year disaster risk reduction package backed by the federal, state and territory governments to better understand and minimise disaster risks and strengthen resilience at national, state and local levels.

In related news, the National Recovery and Resilience Agency will shortly begin consultations with Commonwealth agencies and states and territories on national risk-reduction initiatives for funding in 2021-22.