03 August 2017
By Michael Eburn
A 2016 report from the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience & Safer Communities prepared by Deloitte Access Economics found that in 2015 the total economic cost of natural disaster events in Australia exceeded AUD$9 billion, or about 0.6% of gross domestic product. Without concerted national effort on mitigating vulnerability to these natural hazards and their impact on Australian society, these costs are expected to rise to an average of $33 billion per year by 2050. The report further suggested that if disaster risk reduction is inadequately addressed in those projected years an estimated AUD$ 17 billion dollars would be needed to replace infrastructure damaged due to the impact of natural disasters.
The importance of mitigating the impacts of these disruptions by targeted planning and risk reduction is a consistent theme in ASPI’s policy work over a number of years. While there are encouraging signs that local, state, and federal governments agree on the need to collaborate and enhance flexibility in this emerging area of national security, more work is needed. The complexity of mitigating the impacts of and recovering from weather-related disasters is likely to remain a critical issue in Australia’s future.