Media Release by The Hon John Cobb MP

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Arrangements

The Australian Government is committing $13.1 million over four years in the 2006-07 Budget to ensure survivors and their families affected by disasters receive help faster and easier.

The Minister for Community Services, John Cobb, today said Australian Government disaster recovery assistance will ensure information and assistance can be delivered to those who need it, when they need it.

‘Under the new arrangements a specialised committee has been set up to ensure a more efficient and coordinated response can be provided quickly to Australians following a disaster,’ Mr Cobb said.

‘While government departments have responded well to disasters such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Bali bombings and London bombings, the new Australian Government Disaster Recovery Committee will deliver easier access to payments ensuring better assistance to survivors.

‘There will also be a new Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment for disasters both in Australia and abroad, to come into effect on 1 December 2006.

‘Providing readily accessible information at a time of crisis is another important element in disaster recovery and this measure will ensure rapid assistance to Australians directly affected by disasters.

‘The new Australian Government Disaster Assistance Website provides information about assistance available following a disaster. It also contains links to a range of departments and other useful information.

‘In addition, funding of $2 million over four years is provided for new social and community impact recovery incident facility for use by the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Committee following onshore or offshore disasters.

‘This new facility will ensure a more effective and efficient delivery of recovery assistance in the event of a disaster.’

It will include:

  • Staff to support Government recovery response;
  • A fully equipped facility for disaster recovery operations; and
  • Accommodation on a longer-term basis where disasters require whole-of-government assistance.

‘The new arrangements will deliver a more simplified process which will mean the Australian Government is better prepared than ever to respond and support Australians affected by disasters,’ Mr Cobb said.

Related information
Australian Government Disaster Assistance Website