January 2017: Pre-Budget submission 2017-2018

The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities (the Roundtable) is pleased to make this submission as part of the Australian Government’s preparation of the 2017-18 Budget. In keeping with the Government’s stated objectives for the Budget of ensuring the future of government services and providing the services the community needs and expects, the Roundtable is reinforcing its calls for increased disaster mitigation funding to build resilience and minimise devastating natural disaster impacts, as well as delivering longer term savings to the Budget.

The Roundtable's submission was lodged with Treasury on 23 January 2017.


July 2016: Roundtable submission to Productivity Commission Inquiry - Data availability and Use 

The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities (Business Roundtable) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Data Availability and Use. This submission builds on previous advocacy by the Business Roundtable to increase community access to public sector natural perils data. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that communities, planners, emergency services, individuals, property owners and businesses understand the natural peril risks that they face, so that effective risk mitigation measures can be undertaken.

The Roundtable's submission to the Commission was lodged on 29 July 2016.


November 2015: Roundtable submission to Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility – Consultation Paper

In June 2015 the Government released a White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, entitled Our North, Our Future The purpose of the White Paper was to articulate a clear plan to develop the economic potential of Northern Australia. The White Paper focuses on infrastructure improvement, developing water resources, a reduction in red tape for planning and investment opportunities, and creating and growing a sustainable workforce.

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) was announced in the White Paper to provide concessional loans to fund infrastructure projects such as ports, rails, pipelines and electricity and water supplies. It is financed through a Federal Government commitment of $5 billion to be spread over five years. The Government’s Consultation Paper  released on 9 November 2015 outlines the proposed framework for the NAIF.

The Australian Business Roundtable recognises the significant pipeline of planned infrastructure investment particularly in Northern Australia as providing opportunity for governments and the private sector to consider the cost effectiveness of incorporating natural peril resilience from the outset. This has the potential to keep communities safer by: strengthening the resilience of infrastructure, both during and after event; and, avoiding legacy issues where costly resilience measures may need to be retrofitted at a later date.   The Roundtable’s submission  to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility was lodged on 30 November 2015.


June & October 2014: Roundtable submissions to Productivity Commission

In December 2013, the Federal Government announced a Productivity Commission Inquiry into Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements. The inquiry examined the scope of Federal and State Government spending on natural disaster mitigation and recovery initiatives and aims to achieve a better balance between the two. The inquiry’s terms of reference were announced on 28 April 2014.

The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities was particularly encouraged that the inquiry’s issues paper stated that the Commission will consider if current natural disaster funding arrangements are effective, sustainable and coherent. The Roundtable believes the inquiry is an opportunity to examine these arrangements and develop a more sustainable balance between mitigation and recovery funding.

The Roundtable’s first submission was lodged on 5 June 2014. The submission was based on the Roundtable’s White Paper, Building our Nation’s Resilience to Natural Disasters, and results from its more recent research into the inefficiencies that currently exist in disaster research and funding.

The Commission released its draft findings through a report on 25 September 2014. In response to the draft report the roundtable lodged their second submission with the Productivity Commission on 21 October 2014.

The Federal Government tabled the Productivity Commission's final report into Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements on 1 May 2015.


November 2013: Roundtable submission to Commission of Audit

In October 2013, the Federal Government announced a Commission of Audit to assess the role and scope of Government, to ensure taxpayers' money is spent efficiently and to look into the division of responsibilities between Local, State and Federal Government.

The White Paper commissioned by the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities, Building our Nation’s Resilience to Natural Disasters, shows potential for the budgetary impact of responding to and recovering from natural disasters to be significantly reduced through carefully considered and directed investment in pre-disaster resilience. The Roundtable’s paper also reinforces the need for co-ordination across and within Government.

The Roundtable’s submission to the Commission of Audit was lodged on 19 November 2013. The Commission of Audit provided its report to Federal Government in April 2014 prior to the budget announcement in May.

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