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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 2613 asked in the Legislative Council on 24 October 2019 by Hon Tim Clifford

Question Directed to the: Minister for Environment representing the Minister for Emergency Services; Corrective Services
Minister responding: Hon F.M. Logan
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Question

I refer to the Safe and Healthy Communities section of the Climate Change In Western Australia Issues Paper, specifically the discussion of disaster mitigation and preparedness, and I ask:
(a) what is the annual funding that the State Government allocated for disaster mitigation and preparedness per financial year from 2009-2010 to 2019-2020;
(b) given the frequency and ferocity of natural disasters will increase due to climate change, will the State Government increase the annual funding allocated to disaster mitigation and preparedness;
(c) how much is the State Government prepared to increase this allocated funding by; and
(d) will the Minister please table a ballpark figure for the next 5 years?

Answered on 29 November 2019

There is no global figure for mitigation and preparedness. It is a complex issue that includes multiple funding streams (National Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP), State Mitigation Funding, Recovery under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements Western Australia (DRFAWA). Prevention, preparedness, response and recovery emergency management arrangements are complex and are supported by Local, State and Federal Governments and different funding streams depending on the nature and stage of the emergency.

MITIGATION

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) mitigation strategies are planned and resourced through various directorates and business units, including:

  • The Rural Fire Division which works with local governments, State agencies, stakeholders and WA communities to build capacity and capability to prepare for and manage the risks associated with bushfire emergencies. Under the Mitigation Activity Fund programs, state and local government entities are able to access funding for priority on-ground mitigation works on Unallocated Crown Land and Unmanaged Reserves.
  • Strategy and Emergency Management:
    • Community Preparedness in relation to informing and educating the community by providing training, support and easy to use preparedness programs and engagement tools. Improved community preparedness and resilience mitigates disasters risk because it increases risk awareness and the chance that community members will take actions that help mitigate risk and plan how they will stay safe in an emergency. It also supports the development of community networks that can help communities respond to and recover from an emergency.
  • The State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) allocates funding that supports the prevention and preparation of disasters works to enhance the development of disaster resilient communities.

The figures in the table below represent actual expenditure from 2016-2017 to YTD October 2019. They also include the annual budget for 2019-20 in relation to mitigation programs and initiatives taken to eliminate or reduce the incidence or severity of an emergency:

2016-17

(Actual

2017-18

(Actual)

2018-19

(Actual)

2019-20

(YTD)

2019-20

(annual budget)

3,343,117 7,724,960 11,568,166 3,754,115 21,084,892
  • Bushfire mitigation funding from this Government has been increased and extended for local governments to identify and treat their bushfire risks. DFES is playing a greater role in bushfire mitigation on Unallocated Crown Land and Unmanaged Reserves.
  • In 2019-20, a total of $25.8 million will be spent on enhancing bushfire management including:
    • $13 million on bushfire mitigation;
    • $6.2 million on the Bushfire Centre of Excellence
    • $4.3 million on bushfire risk management planning; and
    • $2.4 million on rural fire support.
  • This funding will:
  • enhance training and bushfire management practices delivered locally;
  • promote the importance of the bushfire risk management process throughout the State;
  • reduce the potential impact of significant bushfire events;
  • provide continuity of support to the 55 local governments participating in the bushfire risk management planning program;
  • expand the network of local governments participating in the program; and
  • facilitate a 'shared responsibility’ ethos to bushfire risk management in the community.

This funding will also enable the Rural Fire Division within DFES to lead the reform of the rural fire sector to improve bushfire management outcomes for Western Australian communities.

It will also support collaboration and interoperability between sector stakeholders including volunteers; enhance bushfire mitigation; and facilitate the decentralisation of bushfire management planning and decision-making.

DISASTER RECOVERY

In Western Australia, funding directly related to disaster recovery is through the Commonwealth’s Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement (DRFA). The DRFA in a jointly funded Commonwealth and State arrangement which provides assistance to support certain relief and recovery measures delivered by the State, following eligible disasters.

The Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements Western Australia (DRFAWA) is the arrangement between the State and the local government authority’s/state government agencies. 

The figures in the table below represent actual expenditure from 2016-2017 to YTD October 2019 and also include the annual budget for 2019-20 in relation to amounts for disaster recovery claims:

2016-17

(Actual)

2017-18

(Actual)

2018-19

(Actual)

2019-20

(YTD)

2019-20

(Annual Budget)

57,275,904 125,834,672 141,883,955 25,177,959 110,330,000