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Reducing the risk and impact of natural disasters across Australia
In March 2020, the Australian Government and state and territory governments committed to jointly invest $261 million over the five years from 2019 20 for a Disaster Risk Reduction Package to reduce the risk and impact of natural disasters.
Funding supports activities aligned to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework that:
take action to reduce current disaster risk;
minimise creation of future disaster risk; and
equip decision-makers with the capabilities and information they need to reduce disaster risk.
The Australian Government commitment is comprised of:
$104.4 million to support the states and territories in reducing disaster risk through the National Partnership Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction, and
$26.1 million to deliver projects of national significance that reduce disaster risk for the benefit of all Australians.
The National Partnership Agreement recognises that taking action to address the causes of disaster risk will strengthen resilience and enable communities to withstand, adapt and continue to thrive in a changing environment.
Related implementation plans set out each state and territory’s strategy to reduce their disaster risks. For more information, explore the opportunities in your relevant state or territory:
The Australian Government is separately progressing targeted projects of national significance that offer broader national benefits in reducing the risk and impact of disasters.
These projects are identified in consultation with Australian, state and territory government agencies and contribute to Australia’s resilience as a whole of community effort.
Successful projects announced under this initiative so far are listed below.
- Round 1
Project Description Sponsoring agency and key delivery partner Amount Bushfire boundary mapping and tropical cyclone impact modelling Provide national bushfire boundary mapping capabilities and information and tropical cyclone impact modelling service for 2020-21. This will improve the availability and accessibility of bushfire burnt area data across Australia to better manage bushfire risk, and improve emergency services access to predicted impacts of tropical cyclones on residential housing. Geoscience Australia $250,000 Bushfire Surveyor Application Suite Develop two community based bushfire damage and assessment apps for individuals to collect pre bushfire vulnerability and post bushfire damage and loss information. The data collected will be made available nationally for use by the Commonwealth, states and territories and could be used to support post-fire impact assessments, risk modelling and vulnerability profiling. CSIRO $180,000 Federated climate information capability Commence development of a federated climate information capability to improve access to climate information for expert users and researchers. This will enable specialist users to scrutinise Australia’s collection of climate simulation data, held in different systems and jurisdictions across Australia, through a single point of access and improve the range and consistency of climate information used in analysis and research. National Emergency Management Agency; University of Tasmania $500,000 National Bushfire Intelligence Capability Commence development of the National Bushfire Intelligence Capability to provide nationally consistent and authoritative bushfire hazard and risk information for planning and preparedness. This first stage of the project will focus on standardisation and storage of national bushfire data and access to information, including national bushfire hazard maps showing fire severity potential under different weather conditions and seasonal fuel load estimation. CSIRO $1,500,000 Prototype smoke forecasting capability Develop a prototype national smoke forecasting capability to accelerate the roll-out of a national operational system by the Bureau of Meteorology. The prototype capability will advance the CSIRO research component of the system, including dissemination of information to the public through the AirRater app. CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology $1,800,000
- Round 2
Project Description Sponsoring agency and key delivery partner Amount Australian Warning System community education and engagement program Develop a national community education and engagement program for the Australian Warning System to increase public understanding and action on warning messages, and coordinate delivery with the states and territories. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services; Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council $2,000,000 Bushfire Resilience Star Rating Develop a self-assessment app to provide site-specific mitigation guidelines to improve resilience. The Bushfire Resilience Star Rating app will assist people in bushfire prone regions understand how their homes are vulnerable to bushfires and identify actions they can take to address this vulnerability through retrofitting and improvements. National Emergency Management Agency; Bushfire Building Council of Australia $3,000,000 Bushfire Surveyor Application Suite Develop a post-bushfire survey app and training for use by professionals in assessing bushfire loss, cause and vulnerability. This will complement two community-based bushfire damage and vulnerability assessment apps being separately developed as part of the Bushfire Surveyor Application Suite. CSIRO $271,000 Community evacuation risk hotspot tool Advance development of an evacuation modelling tool for use in operational, strategic and risk planning by emergency sector stakeholders. Taking into account a range of factors including population demographics and human behaviour models, the online tool will inform state-wide strategic and risk mitigation planning, regional planning for evacuations including of the vulnerable, and local community engagement and education programs. CSIRO $500,000 Cultural heritage vulnerability to bushfire Develop a framework to assess the vulnerability of Aboriginal cultural heritage to fire and determine how key management actions, such as prescribed burning and fire suppression, can mitigate fire risk to cultural heritage. NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment $271,000 Prototype smoke forecasting capability Support outreach and engagement for government, communities and the education sector to maximise the uptake and disaster resilience benefits to be gained from the national prototype smoke forecasting capability. CSIRO $326,000
- Round 3
Project Description Sponsoring agency and key delivery partner Amount Australian Smoke Dispersion System Establish a nationally consistent, high-quality and accurate smoke forecasting system to minimise the risk and impact of smoke on Australian communities. Australian Bureau of Meteorology $2,319,156 Building Resilience – National Construction Code Baseline Assessment Review the National Construction Code to determine its ability to mitigate building risks associated with climate change and improve building resilience. Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; Australian Building Codes Board $150,000 Climate Change Risk Analysis of Priority Infrastructure – Pilot project Pilot project analysing the risk to selected priority infrastructure due climate change. The research will focus on cross-dependencies, identify at risk assets and identify where further assessment is needed. South Australia Department for Environment and Water $426,000 Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Identify gaps in existing resources and other unmet needs for disability inclusion in emergency management at regional and district level. Build capability to ensure people with disability are supported to plan and prepare for an emergency, in the event of evacuation or physical isolation, and through the recovery process. National Emergency Management Agency; Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney $1,000,000 Disaster Risk Information Portal QFES in collaboration with Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania will develop a disaster risk information portal for emergency managers in state agencies and local governments to effectively manage disaster risks that threaten communities. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services $790,000 Emergency Risk Assessment Methodology EMV will partner with other states and territories to create a repeatable consistent process to guide a review of state-level emergency risks. This review will work with CSIRO to undertake climate and emergency risk modelling. The outcomes of this review will be used to inform and assist the integration of state emergency risks at regional and municipal levels. Emergency Management Victoria $180,000 Enhanced National Climate Scenarios Build on initial national climate scenarios by integrating multi-scale climate and disaster hazard and risk information. The project will develop storylines at national and regional levels, to assist communities, businesses and governments to understand climate and disaster risks and develop appropriate hazard mitigation or adaptation responses. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment $559,760 Expanded Strategic Partnership Model for the Bushfire Centre of Excellence Develop a strategic partnership model for the Bushfire Centre of Excellence to expand the reach of the Centre and its offerings, and engage more public and private stakeholders to increase bushfire management capability across government, industry, community groups and academic sector. Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Services $260,000 Expanding the Australian Rainfall and Runoff Guidelines – Supplementary guidance Develop supplementary guidance, drawing on the most recent climate science, for subject matter experts, the construction industry and built environment to manage the risks of increasingly intense rainfall and flooding. The guidance will focus on engineering for settlements and infrastructure in regions exposed to east coast lows. The project will also deliver training and capacity building opportunities for people in the industry. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment $455,000 Hosting of the Centre of Excellence for Prescribed Burning Relaunch the Centre of Excellence for Prescribed Burning under a new operating model to improve practitioner capability for prescribed burning. The Centre will create and conduct programs that include bushfire training and education, cultural and ecological burning knowledge and practices, information sharing and research. Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Services $403,940 National Fire Behaviour Analyst Pre-Course Online Training Module Develop a training module to provide foundational knowledge for Fire Behaviour Analysts in the emergency management sector. Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning $120,000 National Leadership Educational eLearning Modules for Disaster Risk Reduction Develop five eLearning modules for foundational leadership training in disaster risk reduction to build capability across all jurisdictions, sectors and the community. The modules are anticipated to be packaged with other emergency management training opportunities. Emergency Management Victoria $660,000 Partnering with local communities in regional Australia to increase resilience to flood risk ANU will partner with local communities to develop a framework and process to determine how best to minimise the impacts of floods on communities. This will include development of Australian guidelines, and will undertake modelling with councils in NSW, Queensland and Victoria to integrate a natural assets-based approach to mitigation of flooding by rivers. Extending and augmenting existing government guidelines will improve outcomes on flood risk. National Research and Resilience Agency; Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions, Australian National University $1,204,039 Resilience Valuation Initiative to support investment decisions in resilience or disaster risk reduction Support the identification and application of valuation approaches in resilience investment, and share lessons learned to encourage further uptake and national implementation. The project will create tools and knowledge which improve understanding and encourage resilience investment. National Emergency Management Agency; Climate-KIC Australia $200,000 Updating CoastAdapt – Australia’s Coastal Adaptation Knowledge Platform Update CoastAdapt to ensure that it provides the latest information and ‘how-to’ guidance for coastal decision-makers, including interactive tools for shoreline mapping and sea-level rise projections, for each local government area across coastal Australia. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Griffith University $667,400
Hear from Disaster Risk Reduction Package recipients
Disaster Risk Reduction Package funding is helping project recipients across Australia to progress their work in reducing future disaster risk.