Review Launched to Streamline Disaster Recovery Fund: Gov’t

  • Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements being independently reviewed to ensure national system is fit-for-purpose
  • WA Government working collaboratively with Commonwealth to streamline access and simplify the process of applying

Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson has welcomed the Commonwealth’s decision to commission an independent review into Australia’s Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) to ensure the scheme meets the expectations of Western Australians.

The review – led by former National Bushfire Recovery Agency head Andrew Colvin APM OAM – will determine the strengths and weaknesses of the current system to help bolster WA’s resilience to hazards like bushfires, cyclones or floods.

Communities recently impacted by disasters will be encouraged to have their say on what did and didn’t work in accessing recovery funding through the current arrangements. 

DRFA provides a range of practical assistance measures to support communities through the challenging recovery period.

State Governments are responsible for administering the DRFA assistance measures, with the Commonwealth reimbursing the State for up to 75 per cent of eligible costs.

Expected to be completed by 2024, the review seeks to address recommendations from the 2021 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

The Royal Commission recommended a review of the DRFA to help identify roadblocks to applying and help streamline processes that slow down recovery payments.    

Supporting continual efforts to improve WA’s emergency management capabilities, the review will also examine what is needed to build Australia’s resilience to an increasing number of extreme disaster events.

Several WA-led projects are already underway to strengthen the State’s resilience to disasters including the establishment of a State Disaster Recovery working group, implementing a Community Disaster Resilience Strategy and developing an improvement plan for Local Emergency Management Arrangements.

As stated by Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson:

“Disaster recovery is a complex and challenging process – everyone’s recovery journey is different.

“This review is an important step forward in identifying what the State and Commonwealth can do to create a more efficient and simplified recovery funding model that works for all Australians.

“In many cases, the work has already started on several important projects that are set to have a major impact on the way our State manages disaster recovery.

“I thank Minister Watt for listening to concerns brought by the State Government and commissioning this review.”

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