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Government Resources

All levels of government in Australia play a vital role in developing collaborative solutions to helping build greater resilience in our communities against the impact of natural hazards. Some of the federal and state governments’ 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, which recognises that a national, coordinated and cooperative effort is needed to enhance Australia’s capacity to withstand and recover from emergencies and disasters.

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

The Strategy is complemented by policies including:

  • The National Disaster Resilience Framework which articulates the high level disaster resilience agenda established by Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management – Emergency Management. It also sets clear guidance and principles for the emergency management sector in contributing to a disaster resilience agenda being pursued across all jurisdictions and all levels of government.
  • Australian Government’s Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy provides the Australian Government’s approach to critical infrastructure resilience. It has a strong focus on business-government partnerships.
  • The National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan aims to ensure climate change adaptation strategies are an integral part of emergency management planning and processes, to help Australia prepare for the current and future impacts of climate change.
  • During 2009, various Commonwealth programs for disaster mitigation works and support for emergency management volunteers 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 enhance the resilience of communities against the impact of natural disasters. A key aim of the NPA is to enhance Australia’s resilience to natural disasters through mitigation works, measures and related activities that contribute to safer, sustainable communities better able to withstand the effects of disasters, particularly those arising from the impact of climate change.

The Natural Disaster Resilience Program is a four year Commonwealth-State partnership to improve the nation's disaster resilience. The program provides grants to enable States and Territories to more effectively prioritise and address a range of disaster risks, support emergency management volunteers, ensure appropriate emergency management capability and improve the disaster resilience of communities.

Disaster Resilient Australia is the branding developed as the visual identity for the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience.

Government Relief and Funding Resources

The Australian Government provides funding through the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) to States and Territories 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, a function of the Attorney General’s department, supports Australian States and Territories in their efforts to protect life, property and the environment and develops capacity for dealing with emergencies and disasters.

Access links to all Emergency Services.

Government Inquiries and Reviews

Since 2011, nine government-led inquiries or reviews have been conducted in relation to natural disasters, which have created a wealth of insights into specific events. 

Most recently, the Productivity Commission released its Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation Inquiry report on 14 March 2013.  This inquiry examined the costs and benefits of the options to address barriers to effective climate change adaptation where it is feasible to do so, including a 'no change' (maintaining the status quo) option; and assessed the role of markets (including insurance markets) and non-market mechanisms in facilitating adaptation, and the appropriateness of government intervention.  Read the Federal Government's response to the Productivity Commission Report.

In addition, a Senate Environment Committee inquiry is currently underway to examine the frequency, costs and preparedness for extreme weather events in Australia.

Read more about these and other Government Inquiries and Policies.

Other Government Resources

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 builds Victoria’s resilience to extreme events

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia's national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world. CSIRO has undertaken much research in the area of natural hazards, climate change and resilience building.

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