Funds prepare Canberra for when disasters hit

Mick Gentleman

Mick Gentleman

FOLLOWING the ongoing destruction of cyclone Debbie in Queensland, Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman has announced more than $5 million in joint funding to help communities in the ACT enhance their resilience to the impacts of natural hazards. 

Minister Keenan says the funding is being provided as part of the $5.2 million National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience, under which the Australian Government will contribute $2.6 million to the ACT Natural Disaster Resilience Program.

“This funding partnership reflects the shared responsibility of communities and governments to improve resilience to, and preparedness for, natural disasters,” Minister Keenan says.

“Under the partnership, the Commonwealth will work with the ACT to support local projects aimed at improving resilience and capacity to respond to natural hazards.”

The 2015-17 program will invest $5.2 million in joint Commonwealth-Territory funding for 17 projects designed to improve the Territory’s capability to respond to disasters.

Minister Gentleman says the projects addressed a number of disaster risks faced by Canberrans.

“Extreme heat, as well as severe storm and bushfire threats are among the hazards that present the greatest potential risk to the ACT,” he says.

“It is important to note that all projects funded under the National Disaster Resilience Program in the ACT address one or more of these risk categories.

“These projects also cover various aspects of disaster resilience from risks identified in the Territory Wide Risk Assessment to support and retain emergency management volunteers.”

Some of the key projects being funded under the ACT’s National Disaster Resilience Program, include:

·         A refurbishment of the ACT Rural Fire Service’s Molonglo Fire Station;

·         Implementation of the Liquid Fuel Emergency Policy Framework, which will enable the ACT Government to manage and respond effectively to liquid fuel supply shortages;

·         Developing and delivering robust volunteer leadership management programs;

·         A flood education program developed by the ACT State Emergency Service, in partnership with the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, for volunteer s and the community; and

·         The purchase of several volunteer crew buses.

Over $2.2 million has been spent on these projects to date, including contributions from the ACT Government, Australian Government and grant recipients.  Projects are due for completion by the end of November 2017.

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