The Productivity Commission has been directed to enquire into arrangements for funding natural disaster relief.
Treasurer, Joe Hockey and Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan announced the inquiry, saying it would analyse the full scope of current Commonwealth and State expenditure on natural disaster mitigation and recovery.
The Commonwealth Government provides funding through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) to States and Territories to help pay for natural disaster relief and recovery costs.
The Productivity Commission is to identify options for achieving an effective and sustainable balance between natural disaster recovery and mitigation funding, to help communities better prepare for disasters.
The Commission's terms of reference include examining risk management; future options to most effectively fund natural disaster recovery and mitigation; incentives to support cost-effective decision making; mechanisms and models to prioritise and cost mitigation opportunities; and, the current approach.
The Treasurer and Minister for Justice said there was widespread support for the inquiry from State and Territory Governments and the Australian Local Government Association, all of whom were consulted on the inquiry's terms of reference.
In the last five years, more than 200 Australians have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands more have been directly impacted by natural disasters.
Since mid-2009 Commonwealth costs for disaster recovery, under the cost-shared NDRRA alone, have exceeded $12 billion.
The Productivity Commission will soon be seeking submissions to the inquiry and will release an Issues Paper this month.
The Commission will report on its draft findings in September 2014 and deliver a final report to the Government at the end of the year.
More information is available at this PS News link.
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