Murray Watt MP.
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1 week ago
Murray Watt MP
The Federal Government should be ashamed, after failing to allocate a single dollar from an annual $200 million disaster recovery fund, on the back of one of the country’s worst bushfire seasons on record.
The Emergency Response Fund (ERF) was established with Labor’s support last year, providing $150 million a year to aid disaster recovery from bushfires, floods and tropical cyclones.
As a condition of Labor’s support, another $50 million a year was set aside to be spent on ongoing mitigation works, to reduce the impact of future disasters.
This year’s funding will lapse today, 30 June, and will simply top up a war chest the Government announced to great acclaim, but now refuses to use.

 Establishing the ERF was an encouraging step forward, as the Productivity Commission, APRA, insurers, local governments and other stakeholders have been pleading with the Federal Government to fund disaster mitigation for many years.
That is why is it so insulting to find out the Morrison Government has not, and will not, use the fund this financial year.
It has not even consulted the states and territories on any projects that could be funded.
This is allocated money being poured down the drain by the Morrison Government.
It’s just the latest example of this Government taking credit for the announcements but failing to deliver actual help.
The Government says these funds are “not needed”. Tell that to the bushfire victims who are still living in caravans and sheds, waiting for debris to be cleaned up.
These funds could be spent right now on disaster recovery, as well as fire breaks, evacuation centres, flood levees, cyclone shelters and other infrastructure that would prepare us better for future disaster seasons.
It is a slap in the face to bushfire victims who are still trying to recover from a bushfire season Scott Morrison refused to prepare for.
Now when given the chance to act and prepare in the cooler months, he turns his back once again.
The Morrison Government has clearly failed to learn the lessons from the deadly Black Summer fires.
Emergency Services