15th May, 2014

Government invests in disaster preparedness

The 2014 federal budget is offering new funding for disaster mitigation, providing greater opportunities for natural disasters to be understood and managed correctly.

While the majority of funding is being directed to Queensland to rectify the damage caused by Cyclone Ita, there are still projects designated for all of Australia.

Bush fires in particular are being addressed by the federal government in order to ensure communities are better prepared for disasters in the future.

The $15 million initiative is targeted at reducing the impact of bush fires by building on current fire-prevention strategies and addressing potential risk areas.

Natural disaster resilience funding is also planned, totaling $91 million over the next three years.

The benefits of bush fire prevention will be welcomed in Western Australia, with the state still recovering from bush fires earlier this year which the insurance council estimates to have cost $15 million in insured losses. The bush fires claimed more than 50 homes in the Perth Hills.

The new federal funding comes as new building regulations have been introduced for bush fire-prone areas of the state, in order to minimise the loss of property from future disasters.

While the federal government's commitment to disaster mitigation will be welcomed by those facing the prospect of bush fires in their area, individuals still need to be prepared for the effects of extreme disasters.

Business owners in particular need to be properly insured so that the potential harm caused by bush fires doesn't cripple their enterprises. With the prospect of drought becoming more frequent in the next few decades, business owners should consider how protected they are from natural disasters.

New building codes for fire-prone areas will also increase the cost of rebuilding, making it more expensive than ever to not have comprehensive insurance in Western Australia.

Author: Murray Bruce