Australian Business Roundtable
Working to build a more resilient Australia and safer communities
IAG is the founding member of the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience & Safer Communities which was formed in December 2012 following an unprecedented number of floods, storms and bushfires.
Through its research and advocacy work, the Roundtable is helping to develop a more sustainable, coordinated national approach to making communities more resilient and Australian people safer.
The Roundtable members are IAG, Australian Red Cross, Munich Re, Optus and Westpac Group. They work collaboratively with governments and stakeholders to effect change in public policy, increase investment to build more resilient communities and to actively improve the capacity for communities and businesses to better withstand natural disasters.
The Roundtable provides research to support evidence-based policy development.
The Roundtable’s research includes:
Building Resilience in Our States and Territories – released in October 2017
This report considers challenges for disaster resilience in the states and territories, and the role of each government in collaboration with other jurisdictions, community and business. It considers the total economic cost of natural disasters in each state and territory, finding that the forecast cost of natural disasters will reach $39 billion annually by 2050. The report recommends further investing in disaster resilience, which yields a double dividend. First, in the avoided impacts of disasters when they occur. And second, in the broader co-benefits that arise even in the absence of a disaster.
Building Resilient Infrastructure – released in March 2016
This report reviewed the decision-making process for new and replacement infrastructure in the context of natural disaster risks. It emphasised the need to embed resilience into this process and gave practical guidance to do so. It recommended improvement of:
- Infrastructure planning processes
- Incentives to ensure disaster resilience is considered
- The technical capacity of practitioners to identify, analyse and evaluate the costs and benefits of resilience options.
The Economic Cost of the Social Impact of Natural Disasters – released in March 2016
This report looked at the costs of the long-term social impacts of natural disasters in Australia and found the true costs of natural disasters were at least 50% greater than previous estimates when the costs of social impacts are incorporated.
When both tangible and intangible costs are included, it is estimated that the total cost of natural disasters in Australia exceeded $9 billion in 2015, or 0.6% of GDP. It recommended:
- Pre- and post-disaster funding better reflect the reality of the social impacts
- A collaborative approach to address the economic costs of the social impacts
- More investment in community resilience programs by governments, businesses and communities
- More research into ways to quantify the social impacts of natural disasters.
Building an Open Platform for Natural Disaster Resilience – released in July 2014
This report provides an overview of natural disaster data and research. The report showed accurate data and research is critical to understanding natural disasters and their impact and in supporting better decisions to protect lives and property. The report found:
- From 2009-2021, governments have allocated an estimated $280 million to natural disaster research with most research funds allocated to disaster response and recovery, rather than mitigation solutions.
- Wider access to accurate, relevant data and research on natural disasters would generate additional savings to government of between $500 million and $2.4 billion to 2050. In total, Australia could potentially save up to $14.6 billion by 2050 through regular well-planned mitigation investments.
Building Our Nation's Resilience to Natural Disasters – A White Paper released in June 2013
This report examined the economics of mitigating disaster risks facing Australian communities. The report found:
- The Australian Government invests $50 million each year in mitigation measures but more than $560 million on post-loss recovery; a ratio of more than $10 spent on post disaster recovery for every $1 spent on pre-disaster mitigation.
- In 2012, the economic costs of natural disasters exceeded $6 billion.
- Carefully targeted investment in preventative infrastructure of $250 million per year would reduce these costs by 50%, generating economic savings of $12.2 billion by 2050.
- Appointment of a National Resilience Advisor and the creation of a Business and Community Advisory Group would centralise decision-making and improve pre-disaster planning.
The Roundtable’s work has attracted global interest. It was awarded the Certificate of Distinction in the prestigious 2015 United Nations Sasakawa Awards for Disaster Risk Reduction and was a recipient of a National Resilient Australia Award in 2013.
IAG is proud to contribute its expertise to the Roundtable and to work with Roundtable members, government, industry and communities to make Australia safer, stronger and more confident.
Learn more about the Roundtable
To learn more about the Roundtable, visit its website.
Resilient New Zealand
Following on from the success of the Australian Business Roundtable, IAG in New Zealand has helped set up a similar organisation in that country.
Visit the Resilient New Zealand website to learn more about its activities and outputs.