$50 million from the Coastal and Estuarine Resilience Emergency Response Fund

Joint press release

Hon. Sussan Ley MP

Minister of the Environment

The Liberal and National Government has allocated an additional $50 million from the Emergency Response Fund (ERF) to continue to protect communities from the effects of natural disasters.

The new Coastal and Estuarine Hazards Mitigation Program aims to reduce the often devastating effects on local communities of natural disasters and coastal hazards, such as storm surges and coastal flooding.

The Liberal and National Government has now committed $150 million of the allocation available from the FER for Disaster Mitigation and Resilience.

Minister of Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said the Coastal and Estuarine Hazard Mitigation Program will promote long-term resilience by delivering priority projects that mitigate impact disasters on communities.

“The Royal Commission on National Disaster Arrangements highlighted the need to mitigate risk to low-lying coastal communities due to projected sea level rise and more regular and intense storm surges.

“The program will also fund projects that support an integrated approach to coastal management through planning, such as regional risk assessments and monitoring coastal risks as they evolve over time. It will help address the growing national cost of managing and adapting to coastal hazards.

“This government is committed to investing more in mitigation so we don’t have to spend as much on recovery and helping communities be better prepared,” said Minister McKenzie.

Environment Minister Hon Sussan Ley MP said one in two Australians live within seven kilometers of the coast and it was important to help our environment adapt to an expected rise coastal storm surges, flooding and associated coastal flooding.

“As climate change increases the risk of such events, we are taking steps to build resilience in our coastal environments and reduce impacts on communities, landowners, local tourism economies and native species,” said the Minister Ley.

The $50 million for EFR’s 2022-2023 Coastal and Estuarine Hazard Mitigation Program comes on top of the $100 million already committed by ERF for two-month flood mitigation infrastructure projects years from 2020-21. The second cycle of the National Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program, funded by the FER, closed for applications on February 4, 2022.

“Through these investments, we will continue to build Australia’s resilience – a long-term strategy to reduce the risk and impact of disasters as natural hazards become more frequent and intense.”

The Coastal and Estuarine Hazard Mitigation Program will provide $50 million in funding to state and territory governments to target projects such as gray infrastructure, including levees, groynes, storm surges and dams in estuaries, as well as nature-based solutions, such as protecting coastal wetland ecosystems, to reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion.

The Coastal and Estuarine Risk Mitigation Program supports actions under the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and the National Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation Strategy.

Program applications are expected to open in March to allow state and territory governments time to develop project applications outside of the high-risk weather season.

In addition to initiatives funded by the Emergency Response Fund, the Australian Government’s investment in adaptation, resilience, risk reduction and preparedness includes:

  • $215 million ground package
  • $66 Million Agricultural Biodiversity Stewardship Program
  • $100 Million Ocean Leadership Package
  • $4.5 million national capability set
  • $2.8 billion for 2019-2020 Black Summer Bushfire Recovery
  • $85 million Natural Hazards Research Australia, a new center for research into natural hazards and disaster resilience for the next ten years
  • $261 million disaster risk reduction program, jointly funded with states and territories, with $130.5 million from the Australian government.

For program details, visit the National Recovery and Resilience Agency website.

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