Disaster-hit communities will be back on their feet faster, with the Government introducing legislation for a new $4 billion future fund.
The Emergency Response Fund will grow to up to $6.6 billion over the next decade.
Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said returns from the Emergency Response Fund would be invested in rebuilding communities after catastrophic natural disasters.
“We won’t only rebuild, we’ll build stronger communities,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This will put us on the front-foot, making sure we’re better prepared to face extreme events.
“Returns from the fund could go into better infrastructure or improving planning for when disaster hits.
“This is a sustainable way to fund rebuilding from bushfire, flood or cyclone.
“The fund will be in place by summer and can help Commonwealth agencies provide tailored assistance to local communities recovering from severe natural disasters.”
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Fund would give the Government an additional source of sustainable funding to draw on in the aftermath of natural disasters.
“The Government will access the Fund when there is a need for additional support following a natural disaster that has had a significant or catastrophic impact,” Minister Cormann said.
“We will have access to up to $150 million per year to fund emergency response and natural disaster recovery where we deem existing resources and recovery programs are insufficient to provide an appropriate response.”
The type of assistance provided could include, but is not limited to, recovery project grants, service provision, adoption of technology helping recover and resilience or economic aid packages for affected communities or industry sectors to help build their resilience to future natural disasters.
The Fund will be managed by the Future Fund Board of Guardians. The Board has a proven track record of managing investment portfolios on behalf of Government and maximising returns over the long term.