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Special Report Issue 24 - Hardening Australia: Climate change and national disaster resilience

By Anthony Bergin and Athol Yates

This Special Report, authored by Athol Yates and Anthony Bergin, warns that as a result of climate change, disasters are likely to become larger, more complex, occur simultaneously and in regions that have either not experienced the natural hazard previously or at the same intensity or frequency.

The report recommends that emergency services will need to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the impact of climate change on the risks they are responsible for. COAG should develop a National Partnership Agreement on Disaster Resilience with the states that would provide $150 million to reward the states’ measurable improvement in disaster outcomes.

We need to encourage climate-hardening of critical infrastructure and a new body, the Australian Land Use Planning Taskforce, should be established to develop a national approach to driving climate change adaptation considerations into land use strategies and decisions.
The report finds that buildings continue to be produced that will not resist hazards predicted over coming decades, making reforming the Building Code of Australia more urgent.