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Media Release 21 May 2020

The Australian Government is committed to increasing the resilience of Australian communities to natural hazards, while minimising the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government is working with state and territory governments to protect Australian communities and support local jobs.

Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud said in late 2019, the Australian Government committed $10 million for the extension of the Queensland Household Resilience Program.

“The Program provides assistance to eligible home owners in coastal parts of Queensland to make practical improvements to their homes that can reduce the impacts of cyclones and put downward pressure on insurance premiums,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Insurance companies have previously offered up 20 percent reductions on premiums because of the Program and the National Insurance Brokers Association estimate average savings of $310 a year can be attributed to the Program.

“Local economies benefit from the pipeline of additional home improvement work and this is particularly important to secure employment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since announcing our commitment, the Australian Government has been working to secure the Queensland Government agreement to extend the Program.

“The Queensland Government’s recent announcement to extend this important Program is a welcome outcome and signals our shared commitment to deliver outcomes to Australian communities.”

The extension of the Program, made possible by the Australian Government contribution, is the most recent example of the national leadership necessary to address systemic disaster risk combined with practical measures needed to deliver community outcomes on the ground.

It also forms part of a more comprehensive program to protect Australian communities from the impacts of natural hazards that the Australian Government is delivering in partnership with states and territories.

This includes:

  • Development of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework (the Framework) which we brought to the Council of Australian Governments for endorsement in March 2020.
  • securing commitment from the states and territories to an inaugural National Action Plan that will be updated each year to ensure Australia remains on-track to realise the outcomes of the Framework;
  • a funding commitment of in the 2019-20 Budget of $130.5 million over five years to fund initiatives to reduce the risk and impact of disasters on Australians in line with the Framework and the negotiation in March 2020 of a matched commitment by states and territories;
  • as part of the Australian Government’s five-year $130.5 million commitment, $5.22 million set aside each year for projects and initiatives of national significance; and
  • ongoing effort to establish a new national capability to ensure people have access to the climate and disaster risk information