The funding will be available for state, territory and local governments to improve or construct essential public infrastructure to better withstand severe flood events.
IAG Managing Director and CEO Nick Hawkins said the announcement was timely given the current weather system impacting communities in northern New South Wales (NSW) and south east Queensland.
“This new fund is an important reminder for governments at all levels of how critical it is to look for ways to protect our communities vulnerable to extreme weather events like the heavy rain and flooding we are seeing now in Queensland and NSW,” Mr Hawkins said.
“Our priority right now is people’s safety and we urge everyone to follow the directions of the emergency authorities and not risk their life or the safety of others by driving through floodwaters.
“We support the Commonwealth Government examining how we prepare and manage emergencies, including opportunities to adjust the approach from focusing on the emergency response to extreme weather events like floods, to greater investment in prevention, through mitigation.”
Flooding is Australia’s costliest natural hazard-related cause of disaster when both tangible and intangible losses are taken into account.
IAG recently partnered with The Geneva Association to release the Australian chapter of the Building Flood Resilience in a Changing Climate report series. The report highlights the need to prioritise investment in flood mitigation and resilience to protect communities.
IAG has also released Flood and Tropical Cyclone fact sheets to help educate Australians about the risks they face, and to encourage them to take action and prepare themselves and their homes for these weather events.