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Local projects key to building a more resilient Australia

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At the beginning of the twentieth century, Dorothea Mackella wrote ‘I love a sunburnt country … of drought and flooding rains.’ Unfortunately, as climate change takes hold, these aspects of Australian life are becoming increasingly dangerous in the twenty-first century.

As we face more frequent and severe natural disasters, greater federal investment is required in local mitigation and climate change projects that will protect our communities.

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) President Cr David Clark said councils were calling on all federal parties and candidates to support:

  • A targeted disaster mitigation program of $200 million per annum for four years which will reduce the costs of response and recovery and strengthen community resilience;
  • Ensuring betterment funding is included as a core element of disaster recovery funding arrangements;
  • Ensuring publicly accessible and owned community infrastructure, and local government waste, water and wastewater assets, are included under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements;
  • A Local Government Climate Response Partnership Fund of $200 million over four years to enable planning and preparation to minimise the impacts of climate change in local communities and enable councils to achieve climate neutrality as soon as practicable; and
  • $100 million per annum over four years provided directly to local governments to support the capabilities of indigenous councils and the implementation of the Closing the Gap local/regional voice.

Cr Clark said these priorities have been independently assessed, and if funded they would create 3,104 jobs and add $470 million per year to Australia’s GDP.

“Victorians have experienced the impacts of climate change through bushfires in the past and the floods in New South Wales and Queensland have highlighted to everyone around the country the need to ensure communities are prepared. We must act now to protect our communities against future natural disasters,” Cr Clark said.

“A clear focus on targeted disaster mitigation will help councils across the country tackle this challenge and give them the best chance to help keep our communities safe.”

For further information, contact the MAV Strategic Communications team on (03) 9667 5590.