Natural disaster relief and recovery policies

Natural disaster relief and recovery policies

To support Australians affected by natural disasters, the Australian Government offers several relief and recovery policies.

While we support policies which help people recover after major events, we believe the Government’s funding of disaster recovery and reconstruction is unsustainable in the medium to long term. If greater investment is made in hazard mitigation initiatives, recovery and reconstruction costs can be reduced.

The Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) set out levels and conditions for Australian Government funding of State Government expenditures incurred in response to a natural disaster. In the first instance, the State is responsible, with reimbursement by the Australian Government for the greater of either:

  • 50% of State or Territory expenditure on alleviating personal hardship and distress where eligible expenditure per event exceeds $240,000; or
  • 50 to 75% of accrued eligible State or Territory expenditure, on one or more events within a financial year, above set financial year thresholds (based on 0.225 per cent of State or Territory government revenue) (Australian Government Fact Sheet, 2011).

Personal Hardship and Distress Assistance is part of the NDRRA. This assistance is determined by the States and Territories and includes: emergency grants for food, clothing and shelter; help with temporary living expenses; re-establishment grants for structural repairs and household items; and assistance in restoring essential public assets.

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment for Australian residents affected by a major disaster in Australia or overseas. It provides $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child.

The Disaster Recovery Allowance is a term payment to assist individuals who can demonstrate their income has beeen affected as a direct result of a declared disaster.  It is payable for a maximum of 13 weeks from the date at which you have, or will have, a loss of income as a direct result of the bushfire.


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