Wednesday, 01 February 2023
Media release

Independent review launched into disaster funding

The Albanese Government has commissioned an independent review into Australia’s disaster funding arrangements, to ensure government investment in disaster funding is fit-for-purpose and effective in the face of increasingly frequent and more severe natural disasters.

The Review will be led by Mr Andrew Colvin APM OAM, a partner at Deloitte, who previously helmed national recovery efforts after the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires.

Mr Colvin has considerable experience with disaster response and recovery, having led the National Bushfire Recovery Agency (NBRA) from January 2020 to May 2021. Prior to this he was the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police and a serving officer for 30 years.

Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said under Mr Colvin’s leadership, the Review will consider how government investment in disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response, recovery and resilience can better support a national system. It will also look at what will be needed to build resilience to the extreme disaster events Australia is projected to experience over the coming decades.

“Andrew Colvin brings a wealth of experience to this Review,” Minister Watt said.

“Australia is regularly exposed to a range of natural hazards – including floods, fires, storms and tropical cyclones – so we need a system that best supports communities before, during and following a disaster.

“Work is already well underway to improve federal government investment in mitigation projects, to tackle the root cause of climate change-led disasters and to overhaul our disaster response through the creation of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

“This Review is the next step in ensuring the Albanese Government is doing everything we can to wisely invest in measures that will protect Australians from disasters and support them when they strike.

“We know communities are best placed to tell us what is and isn’t working within the disaster funding system. Those impacted by disasters, including community groups, businesses and charities, will be encouraged to have their say through an extensive consultation process.”

A final report is expected to be provided to Government in April 2024.

Mr Colvin will be supported by a taskforce situated within NEMA.

The Independent Review will take forward the work the Government is already doing with the states and territories to review the jointly-funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

The DRFA Review is addressing recommendations by the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements aimed at ensuring Australians impacted by disasters are treated more consistently and fairly, governments can respond quickly and appropriately, and communities are built back better.