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Government resources

All levels of government in Australia play a vital role in collaborating to build greater community resilience to natural hazards. Some government strategies, policies and services related to prevention, preparedness and recovery are listed here.

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:

  • The National Disaster Resilience Framework. This articulates the high level disaster resilience agenda established by Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management – Emergency Management and sets guidelines and principles for the emergency management sector.
  • Australian Government’s Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy is the nation's approach to critical infrastructure resilience with a strong focus on business-government partnerships.
  • The Australian Governments National Strategy for Disaster Resilience recognises that a national, coordinated and cooperative effort is required to enhance Australia's capacity to withstand and recover from emergencies and disasters.
  • In 2009, various Commonwealth programs for disaster mitigation and emergency management were replaced by the National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience (NPA). The NPA provides approximately $27 million per year to States and Territories to increase community resilience to natural disasters. The NPA focuses on mitigation works, measures and related activities that contribute to safer, sustainable communities that are better able to withstand the effects of disasters, particularly those related to climate change.
  • The Natural Disaster Resilience Program is a four year joint Commonwealth and State funding program to improve the nation's disaster resilience. The program gives grants to States and Territories to address disaster risks, support emergency management volunteers, ensure appropriate emergency management capability and improve disaster resilience.

Government relief and funding resources

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.

The Australian Government provides Disaster Assistance to help eligible individuals and communities recover from a major disaster.

Government emergency management resources

Emergency management is a function of the Attorney General’s department and supports Australian States and Territories in their efforts to protect life, property and the environment.

See more on the Government's Emergency Services website.

Government inquiries and reviews

Since 2011, there have been a number of government-led inquiries inquiries which have looked into natural disasters. These investigations have created a wealth of insights into specific events.

The Productivity Commission released its Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation Inquiry report on 14 March 2013.  This examined the costs, benefits and barriers to effective climate change adaptation, including a 'no change' option. It assessed the role of market and non-market mechanisms in facilitating adaptation, as well as the appropriateness of government intervention.  Read the Federal Government's response to the Productivity Commission Report.
In August 2013, the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications released its report Recent Trends in and Preparedness for Extreme Weather Events.

In December 2013, the Federal Government announced a Productivity Commission Inquiry into National Disaster Funding Arrangements. The Roundtable lodged a submission to the Inquiry in June 2014. 

Read more about these and other Government inquiries and policies.

Other government resources

The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education’s 2013 Report: The Climate Adaptation Outlook: A Proposed National Adaptation Assessment Framework  proposes a framework to assess Australia’s progress in adapting to climate change. 

The Victorian Climate Change Adaptation Plan sets out Government action to manage the risks of a changing climate - such as hotter days and sea level rise - and to build Victoria’s resilience to extreme events.

CSIRO is Australia's national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world. CSIRO has undertaken a lot of research into natural hazards, climate change and resilience building.

The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR) is a partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Metrology to conduct research into areas including weather prediction, hazard prediction and warnings and responses to weather and climate related health hazards. 

Geoscience Australia produces earthquake hazard maps which are used as inputs for research and also manages the Australian Flood Risk Information presented by the Australian Government for the purpose of disseminating information for the benefit of the public.

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