Flood levees, sea walls, cyclone shelters, evacuation centres, fire breaks and improved telecommunications – all ingredients in a disaster readiness plan an Albanese Labor Government pledges to implement if elected.
Being touted as ‘Prevent, Prepare, Rebuild’ it is a pledge to be ready for any mother nature emergency by investing up to $200 million per year on disaster prevention and resilience.
It comes after thousands of Australians face bushfires, floods and cyclones every year, and according to opposition leader Anthony Albanese, deserve to be protected by a Federal Government who plans ahead and invests to keep them safe.
Labor’s Disaster Ready Fund is aimed at curbing the devastating impacts of natural disasters by investing in important disaster prevention projects.
The investments are aimed at reducing taxpayers’ funds that have to be spent on recovery and repairs when disasters hit.
“Australians are renowned as the best disaster responders in the world. They deserve to be backed by a government that looks forward, plans and prevents the worst.” said a Labor spokesperson.
“Instead, the Morrison Government continues to sit on a $4.7 billion Emergency Response Fund that has done nothing to help.
“Three years after it was announced, the ERF has not spent a cent on disaster recovery and has not completed a single disaster prevention project. The only thing it has done is earn the Government over $750 million in investment returns.
“Labor will revamp the failed ERF so that it spends up to $200 million per year for disaster prevention and resilience.
“This funding would be matched by State, Territory or local governments, providing up to $400 million annually for investment in disaster prevention and resilience – something called for by groups as broad as the Government’s own Productivity Commission, insurers, local governments and disaster relief bodies.”
Labor’s Plan for Disaster Readiness will also continue to fund disaster recovery through the existing Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, cut red tape so disaster funding can get out the door faster, improve the efficiency of disaster recovery processes by simplifying and speeding up payments to victims and repairs to damaged infrastructure, as well as assisting with spiralling insurance premiums in disaster-prone regions by reducing the risk of expensive damage to homes and businesses.
“As with COVID-19, the Morrison Government’s failure to plan and prepare for natural disasters has left Australians vulnerable. It doesn’t have to be this way.
“We know weather events are on the horizon – we have the smarts and the resources to prepare and prevent. We just need a government with a plan.”