Emergency Response Fund
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Overview of the Emergency Response Fund
The Emergency Response Fund is an investment fund to maximise the Commonwealth’s capacity to support states and territories responses to major natural disasters into the future.
The Emergency Response Fund was credited with approximately $4 billion on establishment in 2019 and is managed by the Future Fund Board of Guardians.
The Emergency Response Fund Act 2019 (the Act) allows the Australian Government to draw up to $200 million in any given year, beyond what is already available to fund emergency response and natural disaster recovery and preparedness.
The Act allows the Government to draw up to:
$50 million each financial year to build resilience to, prepare for or reduce the risk of future natural disasters.
$150 million each financial year to fund recovery and post-disaster resilience in accordance with the Emergency Response Fund Act following a natural disaster that has a significant or catastrophic impact.
Funding from the Emergency Response Fund complements existing sources of funding for emergency response and disaster recovery, including the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, and the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Allowance.
It also complements the Government’s existing suite of arrangements helping Australia prepare for disasters, including strategic work being undertaken to reduce disaster risk, in line with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework.
On 7 September 2022 the Australian Government introduced the Emergency Response Fund Amendment (Disaster Ready Fund) Bill 2022 into Parliament.
The Bill proposes to amend the Emergency Response Fund Act 2019 to re-purpose the existing Emergency Response Fund as a dedicated, ongoing source of funding for natural disaster mitigation and risk reduction, to be known as the Disaster Ready Fund.
The Disaster Ready Fund is expected to commence from 1 July 2023
Emergency Response Fund commitments:
$150 million for the Queensland and New South Wales flood recovery and resilience package
$50 million for the Coastal and Estuarine Risk Mitigation Program
$11.2 million for the Northern Rivers Resilience Initiative to inform a $150 million investment in the Northern Rivers region
$100 million for the National Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program in 2020-21 and 2021-22