Ombudsman kicks off Townsville natural disaster investigation feedback tour – Local – Insurance News

The Australian Small Business and Family Business Ombudsman (ASBFEO), Bruce Billson, will hold the first of many community feedback sessions today as part of his inquiry into natural disaster preparedness and resilience.

Her information-gathering mission starts this morning in Townsville, followed by Mackay in the afternoon, then Rockhampton this evening.

Tomorrow he will be in New South Wales to meet the communities of Murwillumbah and Lismore which have been affected by floods, bushfires and other natural disasters.

Mr Billson will visit other parts of the country this month, including Kangaroo Island and Tasmania, with the aim of hearing from those who have experienced natural disaster about ways the government can improve preparedness and response. resilience to deal with future disasters.

“Over the next few weeks, we will visit more than 20 areas in six states and territories that have been affected by fires, floods and cyclones,” Billson said.

“I encourage small family business owners to participate in this important discussion. »

The Small Business Natural Disaster Preparedness and Resilience Survey was launched last month after the Minister for Jobs, Labour, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert , referred it to the Ombudsman, who aims to report on his findings by 18 March at the latest.

The survey follows a recommendation from the 2020 Royal Commission on Natural Disaster Arrangements that “state and territory governments should continue to provide, evaluate and improve education and engagement programs aimed at promote resilience to disasters for individuals and communities”.

Billson says the impacts of natural disasters on small businesses can be devastating. They can mean damaged and destroyed assets, reduced production and revenue streams and, unfortunately, a business ending event in some cases which can have devastating personal effects.

“What we learn from small businesses on this tour will help inform our recommendations for improving education and engagement programs to better target and help small businesses prepare for natural disasters such as fires, floods and drought,” he said.

Click on here for more details on feedback sessions.