Productivity Commission inquiry into disaster funding arrangements

The Residential Development Council has prepared a submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into natural disaster funding arrangements.

Disaster resilience and mitigation strategies have significant implications for the property industry and the residential development sector in particular.

The Property Council is supportive of action to protect the community from natural disaster and has welcomed the Commission of Audit’s recommendation to review disaster funding arrangements.

The industry supports the adoption of a national framework for resilience and mitigation measures, such as that developed by the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC).

A national approach is important, especially in relation to establishing consistent principles guiding land use planning controls, which have the biggest potential to unfairly impact the property industry

However, the Property Council does not support a ‘competition policy’ approach where disaster funding to the States is linked to ‘back zoning’ of development land.

Back zoning is not an effective first step to mitigating risk in these areas. It is a knee-jerk response that sterilizes developable land and distracts local government decision makers from delivering meaningful adaptation.

Rather, building should happen in such a way that minimises property damage and maximises prevention of injury and loss of life.

This requires a proactive approach from local government to work together with land owners to find win-win solutions.