As extreme weather events increase in frequency and intensity due to climate change there is a growing need to start protecting our assets.
The Productivity Commission has estimated that 97 percent of all natural disaster funding in Australia is spent after an event, with just three percent invested prior to an event to mitigate the impact of future natural disasters. While recent public expenditure announcements have begun to redress this imbalance, Federal and state governments must continue to increase investments mitigating impacts before disaster strikes.
Effecting lasting improvements to natural disaster exposure in Australia requires increased funding for both public and private mitigation projects, improving building standards and quality, and making informed land use planning decisions.
Examples of physical mitigation projects include:
- Flood mitigation infrastructure; levies and dams, to protect our communities from flood.
- Effective forest management, to protect from extreme bushfire.
- More effective land use planning to keep property out of the way of potential harm.
- Better building controls and standards to construct a more resilient built environment.
The ICA is working with national agencies, federal, state and local governments to help shape a more resilient Australia.
The ICA recognises that physical mitigation requires significant investment to mitigate worsening climate impacts, for example the ICA’s Actions of the Sea and Future Risks report has found that at least $30 billion (net present cost) of investment will be required in large scale coastal protection and adaptation projects over the next 50-years. A large amount of this investment need to be spent at local government level. Local governments with their current funding may struggle to meet their physical mitigation measures needs.
The ICA is working with local governments to pioneer a pathway for private finance to invest in the physical mitigation infrastructure Australia needs to protect our communities.