IAG welcomes $100 million Betterment Fund for North and Far North Queensland
21 Jun 2019
IAG has welcomed the establishment by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments of a $100 million Betterment Fund to help protect communities impacted by the North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough by building stronger, more resilient infrastructure.
The Fund is part of the $242 million recovery package jointly funded under the Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). It will enable councils and state agencies to rebuild and upgrade key public infrastructure such as bridges, roads and floodways to a more resilient standard.
IAG Managing Director and CEO Peter Harmer said the Fund will help protect some of our most vulnerable communities by making them more resilient to the impacts of natural disasters.
“These communities regularly face the devastating impacts of severe natural disasters such as cyclones and floods, which place enormous physical, financial and social strain on individuals and communities,” Mr Harmer said.
“By investing in making key infrastructure more resilient, we can help build stronger and more confident communities, which not only protects them today but makes them more resilient and better prepared into the future.”
IAG is a founding member of the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience & Safer Communities.
The Roundtable’s 2017 report, Building Resilience to Natural Disasters in our States and Territories, found the total costs of natural disasters in Australia are forecast to hit $39 billion per year by 2050.
This followed the Roundtable’s 2016 report Building Resilient Infrastructure which found that between 2002-3 and 2010-11, more than $450 million was spent each year by Australian governments to restore critical infrastructure after extreme weather events. This equates to about 1.6% of total public infrastructure spending. In addition, it is estimated that $17 billion (in net present value terms) will be needed to directly replace critical infrastructure between 2015 and 2050 due to the impact of natural disasters.
“The economic and social costs of natural disasters can be reduced through upfront investment in mitigation initiatives to better protect communities when a disaster strikes, and therefore reducing the physical, economic and social recovery costs,” Mr Harmer said.
“We congratulate the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments on this initiative which is a significant step in helping to reduce the devastating impacts of natural disasters on these communities.”
IAG has partnered with Queensland SES for 11 years to help communities become safer and more resilient to weather events and co-created the Get Prepared app with Australian Red Cross, to help people and communities prepare for emergencies.
Learn more about the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience & Safer Communities.