The Australian Government has today announced the establishment of a $50 million National Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Fund to help Australian communities to better prepare for extreme weather events and flooding.
The program has been established under the Emergency Response Fund and aligns with recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework, and findings of the State of the Climate Report 2020.
Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the funding initiative will support state, territory and local governments to improve or construct essential public infrastructure to better withstand severe flood events.
“This initiative was determined by Emergency Management Australia (EMA) based on their consultations about the types of projects that could support the ERFs objectives.
“The foundations of our national emergency management arrangements remain strong, however, the events of the past 12 months have compelled us to re-examine how we prepare for and manage emergencies,” Minister Littleproud said.
“We need to adjust our approach from focusing on our emergency services responding to major flood events, to all sectors of the community, including all levels of government, helping prevent and mitigate disasters.
“The Government is committed to reducing the economic and social harm to Australian communities in flood prone or flood affected areas and this program will be a key part of our longer-term flood mitigation efforts.”
“Beyond the ERF, the government is already investing more than $2 billion in regions impacted by the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires, with a wide range of supports for individuals, communities, local councils and businesses for immediate and long-term relief and recovery,” Minister Littleproud said.
Emergency Management Australia, within the Department of Home Affairs, will lead the delivery of the program, bringing together emergency management and infrastructure experts from across the Australian Government.
“Our communities continue to display extraordinary resilience in the face of consecutive disasters so this initiative will go a long way in making sure we’re a step ahead when the next disaster hits.
“The successful projects will showcase the innovation, commitment and enthusiasm of our communities in assuring their safety from emergencies and disasters.”
Applications for funding under the 2020/21 program will open 21 December 2020.