The $20 million budget builds on the region's $50 million funding already invested into the scheme by the Queensland and federal government, which has assisted 4,300 low-income households to modify their old homes to become more resilient to extreme weather events. The extra funding is expected to help 1,100 more low-income households over the next three years.
Suncorp CEO Steve Johnston said the funding boost will help Queenslanders in cyclone-prone areas to make their homes stronger and safer, including upgrading roofs, garage doors, or house frames.
“We're a huge supporter of the Household Resilience Scheme, which was originally developed using insights from Suncorp's Protecting the North research with James Cook University's Cyclone Testing Station,” Johnston said. “This funding boost is a win for cyclone-prone homeowners, communities, and regional economies.”
“By making homes more resilient to natural disasters like cyclones and severe storms, it also puts downward pressure on insurance premiums,” Johnston continued. “Suncorp welcomes any investment that builds safer communities, reduces the impact of natural disasters, delivers peace of mind, and helps reduce cost of living pressures.”
RACQ CEO David Carter has backed the federal government's decision to provide additional funding to Queensland, emphasising that it is the country's most vulnerable state when it comes to natural disasters.
“RACQ has long advocated for greater investments in household mitigation, and it is great to see the federal government recognise the importance of these resilience programs,” Carter said. “Building resilient communities is an issue which needs to be addressed by all levels of government, and we urge the state government to follow suit in its upcoming budget.”
Carter added that making homes more resilient to extreme weather makes regional economies stronger as less damage is sustained, fewer families are displaced, and communities recover quicker.
“Resilience programs … help keep insurance affordable and accessible as it reduces the risk of individual properties,” he said. “There's been plenty of headwinds facing the insurance industry – mounting damage bills from more frequent disasters, inflation, [and] growing building costs – but if you lower the risk of disaster damage, you're tackling the heart of the problem that exists in places like north Queensland.”