Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]

PREVENT, PREPARE, REBUILD: LABOR’S PLAN FOR DISASTER READINESS

January 14, 2022

An Albanese Labor Government will improve disaster preparation in areas like the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury by investing up to $200 million per year on disaster prevention and resilience in a plan welcomed by Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman.

 

Labor’s Disaster Ready Fund, announced on January 11, would invest in projects such as evacuation centres, fire breaks and telecommunications improvements to help curb the devastating impacts of natural disasters, Ms Templeman said.

 

The announcement of a dedicated mitigation fund has been welcomed by IAG, the largest insurer in Australia, which has been highlighting the importance of greater investment in mitigation for many years.

 

“People living in bushfire and flood-prone areas like the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury deserve to be protected by a Federal Government who plans ahead and invests to keep them safe,” Ms Templeman said.

 

“Over the past two years, our area has seen the world’s worst bushfire from a single ignition point, destroying homes and businesses.

 

“It’s seen floods that carved huge holes into riverbanks and inundated local roads, some of which still haven’t been repaired nearly 12 months on.

 

“But what has the Morrison Government done to improve our resilience?

 

“Have we been given evacuation centres that could offer people shelter when they had to leave their homes?

 

“Are there extra water sources in bushfire zones?

 

“Do we have foolproof telecommunications?

 

“The answer is a resounding no. All we’ve got is a Prime Minister who doesn’t hold a hose.

 

“The Morrison Government continues to sit on a $4.7 billion Emergency Response Fund (ERF) that, three years after it was announced, has not spent a cent on disaster recovery and has not completed a single disaster prevention project.

 

“The only thing it has done is earn the government more than $750 million in investment returns.

 

“Labor will revamp the failed ERF so that it spends up to $200 million per year for disaster prevention and resilience.”

 

Funding would be matched by state or local governments, providing up to $400 million annually for investment in disaster prevention and resilience - something called for by groups as broad as the government’s own Productivity Commission, insurers, local governments and disaster relief bodies.

 

Labor’s Plan for Disaster Readiness will also:

 

•         Continue to fully fund disaster recovery through the existing Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements

•         Cut red tape so disaster resilience funding can get out the door faster, speeding up payments to disaster victims and repairs to damaged infrastructure.

•         Assist with spiralling insurance premiums in disaster-prone regions, by reducing the risk of damage to homes and businesses.

 

“As with COVID-19, the Morrison Government’s failure to plan and prepare for natural disasters continues to leave areas like the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury vulnerable,” Ms Templeman said.

 

“It doesn’t have to be this way. We need a government that rolls up its sleeves and helps keep communities strong in the face of natural disasters.”