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DISASTER FUNDS NOT USED, AS SUMMER FLOODS HIT

December 17, 2020

DISASTER FUNDS NOT USED, AS SUMMER FLOODS HIT 

The Morrison Government must explain why it is still sitting on disaster mitigation funds that could be used to keep communities safe during natural disasters.

This week, South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales began to see the type of extreme weather - including heavy rain, beach erosion and cyclonic winds - the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO have warned La Niña conditions will bring this summer.

Unfortunately, the Morrison Government has ignored those warnings, refusing to spend a cent of its $4 billion disaster recovery and resilience fund (ERF) 18 months after it was announced.

Communities who are at risk of natural disasters such as fires, floods and cyclones have been waiting for the Morrison Government to follow through on its announcement to upgrade evacuation centres, build fire breaks, build flood levees and complete other valuable mitigation works since April 2019.

Now, instead of spending this money on projects that will protect Australians this summer, the Morrison Government has simply made another announcement, creating a new flood resilience fund within the existing fund.

Disaster-prone communities don’t need announcements of funds within funds. They need real money for real projects which will protect them and their loved ones, right now.

If the Morrison Government took natural disasters seriously it would have got on with the job much earlier so that communities would already have disaster mitigation projects finished.

Instead, applications for funding won’t even open until the season is well and truly underway.

The Morrison Government must commit to getting money out the door urgently to ensure these towns and cities are adequately prepared for what we all know is coming.

We cannot afford to wait. Flood communities need more than announcements.

 

THURSDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2020

A FAIR GO FOR AUSTRALIA