IAG has welcomed the recently-released final report from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.
According to a statement from the general insurance group, the recommendations will help boost Australia’s preparedness for natural disasters.
“The Royal Commission has provided an important opportunity to reflect on the catastrophic events of last summer and put in place the necessary reforms to help ensure we’re doing everything we can to limit the scale of destruction and tragedy in future bushfire seasons,” said incoming IAG managing director and CEO Nick Hawkins.
Hawkins said that, for many years, IAG has advocated for increased investment in mitigation in order to reduce the impact of severe weather events. Aside from a larger allocation of funds, better data is needed to achieve this.
“We welcome the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to reviewing and actioning many of these recommendations as soon as possible, and we would welcome the opportunity to continue to work with the government on this to help protect our communities from the natural disaster risks they face,” he added.
IAG expressed support for the recommendation to establish a standing resilience and recovery entity, as well as the harmonisation and sharing of nationally-consistent risk data and tools (including future climate projections).
The insurer also concurred with the Royal Commission’s recommendation to raise collective awareness of mitigation of risks to critical infrastructure, and the establishment of an authoritative advisory body to consolidate advice on strategic policy and relevant operational considerations for ministers in relation to natural disasters.
In addition, IAG agreed with the recommendation that Governments should create and publish standing policy guidance on whether they will or will not assist with the clean-up of debris, including contaminated debris, resulting from natural hazards.
Meanwhile, in IAG’s submission to the Royal Commission, it recommended greater funding for mitigation projects, informed by a cost-benefit analysis, to make communities safer and more resilient in the long-term. IAG also noted that mitigation initiatives should be prioritised based on analysis of research, information and nationally-coordinated data sets, and that government should work collaboratively with the private sector.