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, Investa Property Group, Munich Re, Optus and Westpac Group. They work collaboratively with the Australian government to effect change in public policy, increase investment for more resilient communities and to actively improve the capacity for communities and businesses to better withstand natural disasters. 

The Roundtable has commissioned Deloitte Access Economic to research and produce four in-depth papers.

The first was a White Paper released in June 2013. Building Our Nation's Resilience to Natural Disasters  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.
  • The total economic costs of natural disasters in Australia average $6.3 billion each year and are projected to rise to $23 billion by 2050. 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.

In July 2014, the Roundtable released Building an Open Platform for Natural Disaster Resilience - an overview of natural disaster data and research. The report showed a new approach was critical to protect lives and property. To make better decisions it is imperative that communities, businesses and governments can access the latest natural disaster research founded on accurate data. The report found: 

  • Access to accurate information could generate a potential additional saving of up to 20% on top of the $12.2 billion identified in the Roundtable’s White Paper. This would amount to additional savings of up to $2.4 billion. In total, Australia could potentially save up to $14.6 billion by 2050 through regular well-planned mitigation investments. 

In March 2016, the Roundtable released two reports. The first, Building Resilient Infrastructure, reviewed the decision-making process for new infrastructure. 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 second report, The Economic Cost of the Social Impact of Natural Disasters, looked at the costs and long-term social impacts of natural disasters in Australia and found the social costs in 2015 were at least equal to the physical costs. 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.

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 lean more about its activities and outputs.

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