ALGA has partnered with the Australian Airports Association (AAA) to urge the Federal Government to provide $250 million per year over four years for a new Regional Infrastructure Recovery Program to protect regional infrastructure against future disasters.
Unprecedented natural disasters in 2022 and 2023 have devastated regional communities and infrastructure, with the National Emergency Management Agency confirming there were 46 disasters declared in 2022, with 524 disaster support declarations over 316 local government areas in Australia.
While local governments appreciate the support from federal and state governments for disaster funding, councils need more up-front investment that will help our regional and rural councils to build back better, saving all governments money in the long-term.
With smarter, targeted investments that capitalise on our strengths and assets, we can grow our cities, towns and regions to bolster long-term national prosperity and economic growth.
The AAA also highlighted that airports play a critical role in responding to recent natural disasters by hosting Defence and civilian aircraft engaged in search and rescue, food and supply drops, aerial firefighting, aeromedical evacuation, and patient transport flights. The Regional Infrastructure Recovery Program will help local councils prepare for future disasters and allow communities to remain connected to the rest of Australia in times of need.