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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Federal Election Disaster Policies: The Minor Parties

In the lead up to this year’s federal election I’m going to be detailing and analysing the disaster and emergency management policies of the two major parties and the minor parties:

(links will appear above as I write each page)

I’ll continue updating these pages as more is announced in the lead up to the election. I’m going to focus on actual announcements and content of policy documents. Speculation on possible post-election policies is probably futile given the general non-partisan nature of disaster management. This post will be on the minor parties, which have some fairly hefty disaster management policies.

The Greens

Disaster Mitigation

The Greens propose a massive expansion of the existing Natural Disaster Resilience Program, increasing the federal contribution to over $300 million per year. They also seek to change the cost sharing rules of the current program to allow the Commonwealth to contribute a greater proportion of the funding for projects. In return for this they propose that the Commonwealth should, through a National Resilience Advisor and National Resilience Advisory Group, have a greater role in the decision making on projects. They propose that most of the funding for this program would be raised from a $2 levy on thermal coal exports, an interesting hypothecation. This could backfire – by linking natural disaster action (which generally enjoys wide support) with climate change action (which doesn’t). The policy would also seek to continue the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility with $10 million per annum for 5 years. NCCARF has undertaken a lot of disaster research, but it’s unclear how its continuation would integrated with the recently established Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.

Democratic Labor Party

Bushfire Mitigation

The DLP has a bushfire mitigation policy, with most of its elements focused at a state level, and seeks to establish a nationwide bushfire mitigation plan modeled on Western Australia. It would be funded by both State and Federal Governments. There doesn’t seem to be much more information on it.

Federal Election Disaster Policies: The ALP

In the lead up to this year’s federal election I’m going to be detailing and analysing the disaster and emergency management policies of the two major parties and the minor parties:

(links will appear above as I write each page)

I’ll continue updating these pages as more is announced in the lead up to the election. I’m going to focus on actual announcements and content of policy documents. Speculation on possible post-election policies is probably futile given the general non-partisan nature of disaster management. This post will be on:

The ALP

Well quite a bit has changed since my last post, though with all the changes and announcements, significant new disaster policies aren’t one of them. Labor hasn’t rolled out many disaster policies in advance of the election or during the campaign to date. There are some new Government initiatives which I outlined in my budget coverage, but these aren’t exactly election policies. Here’s the election announcements:

Weather Forecasting

The ALP have announced $58.5 million to improving the Bureau of Meteorology’s extreme weather response. This funding will go towards the recruitment of additional severe weather meteorologists and hydrologists, which will go some way towards improving the Bureau’s response to disasters and give it better surge capacity (something that has been criticised in recent inquiries). I imagine that these would be based in the BoM’s regional offices where are large amount of the severe weather response takes place, though there’s no clue as to what the breakdown of these positions across the states and territories (it may be a decision for the BoM itself). The funding will also establish a National Centre for Extreme Weather to be based in the Bureau’s head office in Melbourne. The NCEW will develop state of the art flood and storm surge modelling and conduct research on severe weather forecasting and warning dissemination.