Prevent, Prepare, Rebuild: Labor’s plan for Disaster Readiness

An Albanese Labor Government will improve Australia’s disaster readiness by investing up to $200 million per year on disaster prevention and resilience.

Thousands of Australians who face bushfires, floods and cyclones every year deserve to be protected by a Federal Government who plans ahead and invests to keep them safe.

Labor’s Disaster Ready Fund will curb the devastating impacts of natural disasters by investing in important disaster prevention projects like flood levees, sea walls, cyclone shelters, evacuation centres, fire breaks and telecommunications improvements.

These investments will literally save lives, not to mention the 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.

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.

If matched by State, Territory or local governments, it would provide 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 fully fund disaster recovery through the existing Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements
  • Cut red tape so disaster resilience funding can get out the door faster
  • Improve the efficiency of disaster recovery processes, to simplify and speed up payments to disaster victims and repairs to damaged infrastructure.
  • Assist 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.

Only an Albanese Labor Government will keep Australians safe and communities strong in the face of natural disasters.

Only Labor will build a better future for disaster prone communities.

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