Wimmera mayors urge Federal Government to retain disaster relief funding

Posted March 16th, 2019 by admin and filed in 南京夜网论坛
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Northern Grampians Mayor Kevin Erwin believes reducing the amount of money available to councils after a disaster would cause major problems. Picture: FILE PICWIMMERA mayors have urged the Federal Government to retain disaster relief funding.
Nanjing Night Net

A Productivity Commission draft report has recommended a major restructure of federal disaster funding, including less money for relief and recovery and more money for mitigation.

Northern Grampians Mayor Kevin Erwin said reducing the amount of money available to councils after a disaster would cause major problems.

“When you have an event you rely heavily on that money to help communities recover and it’d be quite disastrous if there was a shortfall in that money,” he said.

“In the floods we had more than $30 million of damage.

“If we couldn’t replace a community hall or if people couldn’t use infrastructure, and we couldn’t do anything about it, it would be disastrous.”

Horsham Mayor David Grimble said mitigation was important, but recovery funding needed to be maintained.

“I don’t think local government would like to see support and recovery reduced at all,” he said.

“They’ve recommended a major restructure, but if elements of it aren’t broken, why fix it?

“If we had any reduction in the assistance we’d certainly take that up with the Municipal Association of Victoria.”

The report recommended implementing better processes for rebuilding assets so they were not duplicated only to be wiped out again.

Cr Erwin said it was important to be proactive in mitigation.

“I’ve thought for a long time if you put it back the same way it was, where it’s prone to disasters, it might be time to look at an improved version so it can withstand the rigours of any event,” he said.

“That might be a costly solution but I think there needs to be a little bit more analysis on replacement.”

Cr Grimble said council improved its recovery processes every time disaster hit the municipality.

“In the Wimmera-Mallee we’ve been through flood, fire and locusts and they all add to the ability to be able to cope with the next disaster,” he said.

“One of the things we’ve clearly picked up is that our recovery processes are getting better.”

Yarriambiack Mayor Andrew McLean said he supported more funding for mitigation.

“I think it’s great to spend money on mitigation and certainly more should be spent rather than allowing disasters to have their greatest effect,” he said.

The commission recommended the government substantially increase its funding to the states for mitigation from about $40 million to $200 million annually.

Commissioner Karen Chester said the report was not designed to make cuts.

“This inquiry is not driven by the need to reduce fiscal costs for the Federal Government,” she said.

“It is about restoring autonomy and incentives to better manage natural disaster risks.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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