$33 Billion Disasters

6th April 2016

FMA Executive Officer Glenn Evans attended the launch of two reports by the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities at Parliament House in Canberra in March.

The reports, The Economic Cost of the Social Impact of Natural Disasters, and Building Resilient Infrastructure, were prepared by Deloitte Access Economics and provide an economic analysis of the social impact of natural disasters, and the benefits of ensuring infrastructure assets are more resilient to extreme weather events. The reports indicate that the total annual cost of natural disasters in Australia is expected to increase from $9 billion to $33 billion by 2050 unless steps are taken to increase resilience.

Speaking on behalf of the Roundtable, IAG Managing Director and CEO Peter Harmer said “The reports show the long-term cost of the social impact of natural disasters on our communities and economy, and the benefits of embedding resilience into planning decisions for critical infrastructure. We need to do more to help our communities prepare for and recover from disasters. Sadly the devastation of bushfires, flood and earthquakes on our communities can last for years, if not decades.”

Mr Evans said the function was attended by representatives from a wide range of organisations involved in natural disaster management and response and included Federal Minister for Justice the Hon Micahael Keenan, and Government and Opposition Members.

“FMA Members are very much aware of the very real social impacts which can result from flooding, and the Roundtable is to be congratulated for providing reputable economic estimates to assist the case for increased resources for flood risk management,” Mr Evans said.

“The social impacts of flooding will be discussed at the upcoming FMA Conference in May, which will include a keynote presentation by Associate Professor Lisa Gibbs from Melbourne University, who leads a research program exploring the social impacts of disasters, and contributed to the Roundtable’s reports.

The Roundtable’s reports are available at australianbusinessroundtable.com.au/our-papers.

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