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Budget 2013-14: A disaster wrap-up

Today the Federal Government released its election year budget. Whilst most folk are talking deficits, loss of entitlements and so forth I’ll focus on disasters of a different sort.

Though the Federal Government does do a lot of counter-disaster work through its agencies (such as the Attorney General’s Department, Bureau of Meteorology, Department of Defence and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) they don’t appear to have any new expenditure items this year, or significant cuts. This leaves the money provided to the states and territories for mitigation and recovery (contained in Budget Paper 3). (more…)

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NSW Planning White Paper Released

Today the NSW Government released its planning white paper. Reforming the planning system was one of the election policies of the O’Farrell Government. I feel that a lot of the discussion about ‘resilience’ are thinly veiled distractions from what we know works best – not building stuff in harm’s way.

I’ll be leafing through it and posting my thoughts (and perhaps making a submission), but at 214 pages it’s going to take me a while.

The closing date for submissions is the 28th of June, so if you’re thinking about making one get cracking. There’s a variety of other consultative mechanisms including a series of discussion forums.

Extreme weather. Extreme planning. Extremely necessary?

In a piece published in the SMH yesterday Anthony Bergin, Director of Research Programs at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, argues that climate change will require greater preparedness for our emergency services. That doesn’t necessarily need to be the case.

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Climate Change, Extreme Weather and Emergency Preparedness Senate Inquiry: Part 4

As the first submissions come in and dates for public hearings are set I continue my series on the extreme weather and emergency preparedness senate inquiry. See Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. In this post I move onto the fourth term of reference:

(d) an assessment of the preparedness and the adequacy of resources in the emergency services sector to prevent and respond to extreme weather events;

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