FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Flood and Fire Calls for Change
The recent extreme weather across the Eastern side of Australia is a poignant reminder of the need for urgent change to natural disaster funding arrangements.
Over the past few days, there have been major flash flooding events across Sydney and coastal parts of New South Wales causing much damage and numerous rescue efforts, as well as bushfires blazing through Queensland forcing thousands to evacuate their homes.
The Bureau of Meteorology estimated the Sydney storm was a 1 in 100-year event with 105.6 mm recorded at Sydney’s Observatory Hill; 91 mm fell in about 1.5 hr. This was the wettest November day since 1984.
Floodplain Management Australia President (FMA) Ian Dinham said “The cost of these kinds of natural hazards is increasing each year, with the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities estimating the cost to rise to $33 billion annually by 2050”.
“The threat of flood and fire will not dissipate in the near future, it is not a problem we can wish away, but we can better prepare for it. For Councils to adequately do that, the level of funding for disaster mitigation and recovery must increase” said Mr Dinham.
“Flooding is the most manageable of natural disasters and we must see Councils getting the support they need so they can adequately educate and protect their communities from future events.
“FMA represents over 150 Councils, catchment management authorities, businesses and professionals involved in urban and rural flood risk. Our Members understand first-hand what needs to be done, but struggle to get the money to do it.
“Do not allow these recent events to be in vain, we need to create change now; more funding, more awareness, more resilient communities. Natural disaster management should be a higher priority for state and federal governments, and now is the time to make that change.
“For those affected by this recent devastation, our thoughts go out to you and your families.”
FMA has been the leading organisation on flooding in Australia since 1961 and is dedicated to working with all states and territories to raise flood awareness and the priority of flooding.
For more information on Floodplain Management Australia, visit floods.org.au.
For all media enquiries please contact FMA President Ian Dinham 0467 492 117 or Ian.Dinham@mpsc.nsw.gov.au.
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