Australia's emergency management ministers have agreed to undertake a review of the jointly funded Commonwealth-State/Territory Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) following one of the most devastating natural disaster seasons in Australia's history.
Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said the DRFA is being reviewed to ensure that assistance under the program is fair and equitable for Australians living in different states.
"The devastating 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires affected multiple states at the same time, however different types and levels of assistance were provided across each state," Minister Littleproud said.
"The review will look into how each state applies the DRFA and whether the program should be adjusted to deliver more equitable, needs based, assistance for all Australians, regardless of where they live.
"Affected communities rightly expect that governments will act quickly following a disaster and provide recovery assistance as soon as possible.
"The review will examine whether any parts of the current arrangements can be streamlined so that governments can respond quicker and more effectively to community recovery needs.
"Emergency Management Ministers have also agreed that the review will look at how DRFA funding can be better used to make damaged infrastructure more resilient through the rebuilding process.
"This has been successfully done in Queensland, with public infrastructure being built back better so that it can withstand the impacts of future disasters.
"This not only improves community resilience, but is more cost effective for all levels of government in the long-term."
The Australian Government is committed to working collaboratively with the states and territories to undertake the DRFA review and improve the national disaster recovery funding arrangements for all Australians.