Expert warns on “gaping holes” in Australia’s natural disaster preparedness

Expert warns on “gaping holes” in Australia’s natural disaster preparedness | Insurance Business Australia

Expert warns on “gaping holes” in Australia’s natural disaster preparedness

Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and severe in Australia as climate change worsens – and now, former National Resilience Taskforce head Mark Crosweller has warned that Australia’s natural disaster preparedness has gaping holes.

The bill from a series of national disasters between September 2019 and July 2020 totalled $3.8 billion – with last summer’s bushfires considered the “second-most costly disaster in Australia since 1980,” according to Insurance Australia Group climate research analyst Bruce Buckley.

Crosweller advised the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements to “handle what is vulnerable” as the country is already “past a tipping point.”

“If you try to get a national bushfire risk map, it doesn’t exist at the moment. I know there are efforts underway to do that,” Crosweller said, as reported by The New Daily. “We are still a long way behind. We need to anticipate loss. We are going to lose things at these events. No-one wants to think about these things, but it is still a reality.”

Croswell also has concerns over flood mapping in the country as flooding remains prevalent in many areas. A part of Wagga Wagga, for example, has been experiencing “one-in-eight-year floods.”

“If we wanted to get a comprehensive understanding of the flood plains of Australia, well, there’s some data on that of course, but is it contemporary? Probably not,” he concluded.