Government policy framework

Government policy framework

The Australian Government provides funding to States and Territories through the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) to help pay for natural disaster relief and recovery costs.

In December 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to adopt a whole-of-nation resilience-based approach to disaster management, recognising that a national, coordinated and cooperative effort was needed to better withstand and recover from emergencies and disasters.

As a result, COAG adopted the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience: Building our nation's resilience to disasters in February 2011. The strategy provides high-level, strategic direction and guidance for new or ongoing disaster resilience work.

The strategy is complemented by policies including:

Government inquiries and reviews

Recent natural disasters across Australia have generated a national discussion of how we can reduce our vulnerability to natural hazard threats.

Since 2011, nine government-led inquiries or reviews have been conducted in relation to natural disasters:

Treasury Consultation Paper Reforming Flood Insurance: Clearing the Waters
(Submissions closed May 2011)

The Federal Government’s Natural Disaster Insurance Review
(Final report released November 2011)

The Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into the operation of the insurance industry during disaster events
(Final report released February 2012)

The Federal Government’s Consultation Paper, Reforming flood insurance: A proposal to improve availability and transparency
(Submissions closed March 2012)

The Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into Residential Strata Title Insurance
(Final report released March 2012)

Australian Government Actuary Report On Investigation into Strata Title Insurance Price Rises in North Queensland
(Final report released March 2012)

The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry
(Final report released March 2012)

Productivity Commission Inquiry into Regulatory and Policy Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation
(Final report released March 2013)

Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications for inquiry and report: Recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather events
(Report due June 2013)

Inquiry outcomes

The bulk of recommendations which have been made as a result of these inquiries and reviews relate to improvements in dealing with disaster response and disaster recovery matters. Far fewer recommendations relate to improving resilience.

An analysis by Deloittes Access Economics of nine recent disaster reviews indicates that of the 124 recommendations relating to resilience, just 13 have been implemented and 26 are in progress but with no clearly defined timeframe for completion. Some have not been actioned at all.

Progress on resilience development is too slow, fragmented and reactive.

We need a more sustainable, coordinated, comprehensive national approach.

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