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Merri-bek Mayor Riley supports call to help protect communities from extreme weather

By March 24, 2022No Comments
Man cleans up after flooded home

Merri-bek Mayor Riley has joined over thirty mayors and councillors from some of the nation’s most flood damaged regions have called on the government to do more to protect communities from tragic and costly extreme weather.

The scale and speed of extreme weather which Australia has recently experienced has been fatal to our communities. Deloitte Access Economics reported in 2021 that if emissions continue unabated, floods could cost us $40billion per year by 2060.

Mayors joint statement

Mayors and councillors from Lismore in New South Wales to Logan in Queensland, released a joint statement responding to one of the worst extreme weather disasters in the nation’s history, calling for urgent action to protect their communities from worsening climate change.

Councils are exhausted by the immediate costs and challenges, and we are worried about what’s to come.

Local governments are working together with their communities to take action against climate change and build resilience. But we need more support.

Support needed from Federal Government

The Mayors are calling on the Federal Government to:

  1. Lead the country in delivering on an ambitious emissions reduction target this decade, in partnership with state and local governments, to respond to accelerating climate change at the scale and pace required.
  2. Increase funding sources to councils for responding to climate impacts, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, including providing a minimum of $200 million a year in the form of a disaster mitigation fund and an additional $200 million over four years for a local government climate response partnership.
  3. Invest in preparing before climate disasters strike and take responsibility for coordination of climate impact responses to ensure consistency and clearly delineated responsibilities between different levels of government.
  4. Ensure all disaster response funding extends to all damaged assets and incorporates the principle of “betterment” to allow cities and communities to be rebuilt in a way that takes into account the inevitable future changes in climate and makes them more resilient.
  5. Establish a national body, or expand the remit of an existing one, to support research on adaptation and act as a centralised hub for up-to-date climate change information.