The Northern Territory government has announced draft terms of reference and the formation of two regional flood mitigation committees in a bid to protect areas of the state from flood.
Following the sale of the Territory Insurance Office (TIO) to Allianz
in November for $424 million, chief minister Adam Giles promised $50 million in flood mitigation and this is the first step in the mitigation process.
“The Territory Government
has committed $50 million from the proceeds of TIO for flood mitigation works and these two committees are being established to make recommendations on how the funding can best be spent, providing value for money for taxpayers,” Giles said.
The mitigation plans focus on the Darwin and Katherine areas of the Northern Territory as Giles announced that the funds will be split equally.
“A pool of $25 million has been set aside for works in Rapid Creek and the Darwin Rural Area, while another $25 million has been allocated for Katherine, including $7.6 million to move the town’s Ambulance Centre out of the flood zone.”
ICA CEO Rob Whelan has backed the government plans. In a statement the organisation called them “one of the most significant commitments made by any jurisdiction of comparable size in recent years."
“The ICA and its members look forward to working with the committees and the NT Government
, and contributing to discussions on how mitigation funds can be most effectively directed,” Whelan said.
“Flood mitigation is a long-term investment in protecting vulnerable communities. Though costly, permanent and well-planned mitigation benefits flood-prone communities for generations, repaying the initial investment many times over and reducing the amount of taxpayer money that needs to be spent on disaster recovery.
“The insurance sector plays its part too, through reassessing premiums for affected households and businesses to take into account the effectiveness of mitigation works in lowering the flood risk.”
The ICA welcomed the mitigation announcement and expects to hold further discussion with the Government
about its involvement in the committees.