Consultation Begins On Disaster Response Support
Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips is inviting South Coast locals to shape the future of national disaster response by having input to the Alternative Commonwealth Capabilities for Crisis Response discussion paper.
The Federal Government provides disaster assistance to state and territory governments during and after natural disasters. This consultation process will help to streamline this process, and will involve a range of avenues for participation, including online submissions from the public.
“Locals have first-hand knowledge of how bushfires, floods and storms have impacted them, so it makes sense to ask them what they need next time. I’m strongly encouraging local people to submit their views so we can ensure our region receives the best support we can from the Federal Government,” Fiona said.
There will also be a series of stakeholder roundtables scheduled throughout the remainder of the year. These roundtables will bring together representatives from various sectors, including state, territory, and local governments, non-government organisations, not-for-profit groups, volunteer organisations, corporate entities, and more.
“We’ve been working since February to try and make our communities more resilient in the face of natural disasters. Ensuring the major stakeholders are all on the same page is a big part of that process,” Fiona said.
The Department of Home Affairs and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) will use the insights and perspectives collected from public submissions and discussions to guide the development of policies and recommendations to the Government regarding potential options for improved disaster response capabilities.
The Albanese Labor Government recognises the invaluable role of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have played in domestic disaster relief efforts. Defence will still be used in disaster recovery, when necessary, but this report will ensure Defence is not the primary recourse in disaster response. This approach aligns with the Defence Strategic Review and ensures that Defence resources are employed as a last resort rather than a first option.
“I have seen how effective the ADF can be in disaster situations. They’ve worked so hard and helped so many people. But the reality is that disaster relief is not their main job – and it’s important that the ADF stays focused on the important work they are already doing,” Fiona said.
“This discussion paper will look at ways other organisations can be supported to assist our communities in the event of natural disasters,” Fiona concluded.
The discussion paper's release aligns with ongoing efforts to bolster support personnel, facilitated by the Albanese Government's $38 million commitment from the October Budget to Disaster Relief Australia. This veteran-led organisation plays a pivotal role in providing supplementary assistance to states and territories during disaster situations.
The full discussion paper can be accessed at www.homeaffairs.gov.au/reports-and-pubs/files/alternative-clth-capabilities-crisis-response.pdf
Submissions will be accepted until September 15, 2023.