Australia has seen its fair share of natural disasters, and the impact that it has on the community can also be felt in all areas. Natural disasters are also economic disasters, with costs of rebuilding communities easily escalating into the millions.
Days of serious rainfall have recently impacted the NSW east coast, with flooding and damaging winds impacting both rural and metropolitan areas significantly.
This recent flooding of the NSW east coast, from as far south as Penrith to as far north as Coffs Harbour, as well as the rising floodwaters on the Queensland south coast, have raised insurance costs for the area up to $30, 000 dollars per year and highlighted a growing concern about further residential development in these disaster-affected areas.
To assist with some of the economic recoveries of the area, the NSW government has activated two disaster relief schemes for individuals and businesses within the flood-affected communities to apply for. These schemes include:
- The Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement (DRFA) (NSW government)
- Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment. (Federal)
The DRFA is jointly funded by the federal, state and territory governments, where the federal government provides financial assistance to support state governments with disaster recovery costs. Eligible costs can include assistance measures for individuals and families, businesses, primary producers, non-profit organisations and local and state governments.
The AGDRP will involve a one-off, non-means-tested payment of $1000 per eligible adult, and
$400 per person, who have been adversely affected by a disaster (within Australia or overseas).
Individuals affected by the floods will also be able to receive assistance from their banks in the form of personal and business grants.
The total economic cost of natural disasters from 2006-2016 averaged $18.2 billion dollars a year, with the figures not including the costs of the 2020 bushfires, and the recent extensive flooding. By 2050, natural disasters could cost Australia up to $39 billion per year.