Australia urgently needs a dedicated, independently administered fund to meet the escalating costs of natural disasters due to global warming.
Beneficiaries of the National Climate Disaster Fund?
Funding can be distributed amongst the most disaster impacted regions and sectors in Australia. These include:
Local governments are at the frontline of dealing with many of the impacts of climate change including natural disasters. Increasing floods, fires, heatwaves and other extreme events damage local infrastructure, disrupt local communities and increase demand for services.
However, local governments have the least amount of resources to cope with the impacts. In 2015/16, local governments were responsible for 25% of Australia’s high value infrastructure assets, with only a 4% share of public sector revenue (LGAQ (2017) LGAQ Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the current and future impacts of climate change on housing, buildings and infrastructure). Many of the costs are passed on to ratepayers.
The NCDF could provide a reliable and growing source of funding for local governments to recover from natural disasters and build resilience to future disasters.