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Canberra details disaster resilience projects

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The Federal Government has listed the five projects where it will be investing more than $4.2 million to reduce the risk and impact of natural disasters on Australian communities.

The funding forms part of a five-year disaster risk reduction package backed by the Australian, state and territory governments to better understand and minimise disaster risks and strengthen resilience at national, state and local levels.

About $3 million will go to the Bushfire Building Council of Australia for the development of a self-assessment app to provide site-specific mitigation guidelines to improve resilience.

The government says the Bushfire Resilience Star Rating system will assist people in fire-prone regions to reduce bushfire impacts by helping them to understand how their homes are vulnerable to bushfires and identify the actions they can take to address this vulnerability through retrofitting and improvements.

The other four projects involve development of an evacuation modelling tool ($500,000), prototype smoke forecasting capability ($326,000), bushfire surveyor application suite ($271,000) and a framework to assess vulnerability of Aboriginal cultural heritage to fires ($170,000).

Minister for Emergency Management Bridget McKenzie says the projects support the objectives and priorities of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework, as well as the recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

“The National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework is all about how we can work together to minimise existing and future disaster risks across Australia’s built, social, natural and economic environments,” Ms McKenzie said.

“Recent bushfires, floods and cyclones around the country have reminded us of the devastating impacts that natural hazards can have on local communities.

“While we may not be able to disaster-proof the nation, we can be better equipped to protect our livelihoods and future prosperity and increase resilience.”