Natural disaster fund to have $200m boost

·1-min read

Australia will have a dedicated and ongoing funding source for natural disaster resilience and risk reduction projects under changes proposed by the federal government.

A proposal for the new disaster ready fund, previously known as the emergency response fund, was introduced to parliament by Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil on Wednesday.

The government will provide $200 million each year for the fund and will review the allocation sum at least every five years.

The fund will focus on building resilience for future natural disasters and delivers on a Labor election commitment, Ms O'Neil said.

"This bill makes important amendments to ensure that Australia is appropriately funded for natural disaster resilience and risk reduction initiatives," she said.

Ms O'Neil also criticised the former coalition government's $4.8 billion emergency response fund which she said did not release any money for mitigation projects.

New measures to reduce emissions alone would not stop inevitable climate-induced natural disasters, she said.

"We are going to help our industries make that big switch to renewables, but we also need to manage the brutal reality that our beautiful country is going to be subjected to more natural disasters," Ms O'Neil said.

"My fervent hope as a parliamentarian, an Australian and as a parent is that we can do better in the years ahead."

Australia's new national disaster management agency came into effect at the beginning of September.

The body was created following a merger of Emergency Management Australia and the National Recovery and Resilience Agency.