26 February, 2024
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$70 MILLION OF NSW PROJECTS ANNOUNCED UNDER NEW DISASTER READY FUND

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New South Wales will be better protected and prepared for future disasters following today’s announcement of 19 local projects funded under Round One of the Albanese Government’s new Disaster Ready Fund.

NSW will benefit from more than $70 million in combined investment into disaster prevention, through the Federal, State and delivery partner co-contributions.

The Fund was an election commitment by the Albanese Government, and will deliver national long-term mitigation support to protect communities from natural disasters.

It also includes strategies to partner with Aboriginal communities to improve disaster readiness.

State and Territory governments submitted applications for a range of projects to improve mitigation and resilience, in collaboration with local Councils and community groups.

Successful projects in NSW include:

  • Delivery of risk reduction equipment, a critical evacuation centre and early warning systems at Cabonne in Western NSW.
  • The design and construction of four high priority coastal protection projects including upgrades to road protection structures, rock walls and levees as part of Eurobodalla Council’s Batemans Bay Coastal Protection Works on the South Coast.
  • Construction works to future-proof Moulamein against damage caused by large flood events in the South West region.
  • Works to reduce flood and erosion risks in the Lismore river catchment on the North Coast.
  • A suite of research and development projects to enhance disaster planning, preparations and response capabilities in the Northern Rivers.
  • Construction of new stormwater drains in Orange in the Central Western region.
  • The establishment of strategic partnerships with Aboriginal communities and organisations to reduce the risk and impact of disasters through Forestry Corporation’s Fire, Country and People.
  • Youth-informed mental health resources in preparation and response to disaster-associated trauma through Bushfire Kids’ Connect School Community Disaster Risk Ready.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said NSW communities were no strangers to natural disasters and governments at all levels needed to take decisive action to better protect regions.

“NSW has repeatedly experienced devastating floods, storms and bushfires in recent years,” Minister Watt said.

“As we continue to fund disaster recovery and specific resilience programs in areas like the Northern Rivers and Central West, it’s critical we do more to build defences right across the state.

“As a country we invest far more in recovering from disasters than we do defending against them and that mentality has got to change. This is about more than just bricks and mortar. We are changing the way Australia deals with natural disasters by planning more effectively for the future to ensure that communities across Australia are better prepared, less exposed and in the best possible position to recover when disasters strike.

“This is just one step in our commitment to disaster reduction and mitigation – working with State and Territory Governments to better protect and prepare Australians for future disasters.”

NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, the Hon Paul Scully MP, said the projects help mitigate the risks posed by natural hazards.

“We’re pleased to be providing $38.5 million of the funding towards innovative projects to deliver critical infrastructure, technology and security to help communities across NSW better prepare for future disasters,” Minister Scully said.

Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon Jihad Dib MP, said the projects invest in communities and champion local initiatives.

“A prepared community can help reduce loss of life and the overall impact of a disaster. All disasters are local and so are our best resources. Locals are on the ground in communities, ready to act and the new NSW Government is providing the resources, funds and expertise they need where they are needed most,” Minister Dib said.

The Disaster Ready Fund builds upon the Albanese Government’s commitment to ensure Australia is better prepared for natural disasters.

Over the last year, the Federal Government has paid out more than $2.7 billion in recovery and resilience programs and payments to support individuals and communities impacted by natural disasters.

This includes $150 million for resilience projects in the Northern Rivers and $15 million specifically for flood gauges in NSW.

The State and Federal Governments jointly-funded more than $500 million to upgrade roads, bridges and public infrastructure damaged in the 2019/20 Bushfires, February and March 2021 Storm and Floods and February-March 2022 floods, through Betterment programs.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) will work with each jurisdiction to negotiate funding agreements with funds to be provided as soon as possible from July 2023. Projects must be completed within three years.

There were more than 300 applications submitted across all States and Territories. Successful projects were selected following a rigorous merit-based assessment process carried out by NEMA.

The full list of NSW projects visit https://nema.gov.au/programs/disaster-ready-fund/round-one and for more information on the Disaster Ready Fund including updates about Round Two of the Disaster Ready Fund visit NEMA’s website.

SENATOR THE HON MURRAY WATT

FEDERAL MINISTER FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

THE HON PAUL SCULLY MP

NSW MINISTER FOR PLANNING AND PUBLIC SPACES

THE HON JIHAD DIB MP

NSW MINISTER FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES

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