Labor pledges $1bn to natural disaster fund

The Essendon Little Athletics club track is flooded in the suburb of Maribyrnong on October 14, 2022 in Victoria, Australia.

The federal government has pledged $1 billion over five years to the national Disaster Ready Fund.

The Fund’s main purpose is to mitigate the risk of damage and loss caused by natural disasters, which Murray Watt, Minister for Emergency Management, said ‘comes at a critical time’. 

Australia’s eastern states continue to be battered by La Nina’s rain, with large swathes of New South Wales and Victoria underwater yet again. 

“As communities across the nation once again face hardship from compounding natural disasters, this Government has delivered on its promise to focus disaster spending on where it will have the greatest impact,” said Murray Watt.

“By committing to a billion dollars under the Disaster Ready Fund over the next five years as part of the 2022-23 Budget, the Albanese Government will reduce the physical, economic and the psychological impacts of disasters on Australian communities.”

The Minister also noted that investment in disaster risk reduction could be a way to combat the rising cost of insurance and the resulting problem of underinsurance.  

Theoretically, if people’s homes are exposed to less risk of flooding (for instance), then home insurance providers can start to offer less expensive premiums to their customers.  

In Mozo’s Insurance Report 2022, the research found that almost two-thirds of Australians' home insurance premiums had risen since July 2021, with 17% reporting significant increases. 

But, perhaps most alarmingly, 43% of survey participants claimed that they were underinsured, with a fifth of those suggesting an insurance payout wouldn’t cover the full cost of rebuilding, repairing, or replacing their home.

The Disaster Ready Fund will invest in infrastructure projects such as flood levees, floodways, seawalls, firebreaks, man-made wetlands, and reefs in disaster-prone areas. 

Not all insurance policies are created equal. Do you know if your home insurance policy covers your property for flood damage? 

When you compare home and contents insurance policies with Mozo, you can see which main events are covered by each policy at a glance, including cover for natural disasters, if they provide underinsurance protection and more.