Natural disaster planning gets new state funding boost

THE Victorian government will provide funding to help protect the Alpine Shire and Hume region from the threat of natural disasters.

It will help the State Emergency Service prepare community programs to reduce the impact of floods.

The funding comes in the wake of widespread damage caused by floods in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The money is provided through the jointly funded Natural Disaster Mitigation Program, with the Federal and Victorian governments each contributing $4.2 million to 49 projects around the state.

Three North East politicians, Bill Sykes, Tim McCurdy and Bill Tilley, say the funding will help with community-based planning.

The SES has been allocated $135,000 to prepare a flood safe project for the North East.

Alpine Council will receive $28,600 for a case study undertaken by its community resilience committee.

“As a leader in emergency management response, the government aims to ensure communities are prepared for, and ready to respond to, emergencies,” Dr Sykes said.

“Having prepared and resilient communities is critical.

“In turn that helps our emergency services when they respond to a flood, fire, storm or other natural disasters.”

Mr Tilley said the programs would hopefully lessen the impact of emergencies whether caused by drought, floods or bushfires.

Mr McCurdy said: “The project in the Alpine Shire involves a participatory case study project that will review what works and what can be improved.”

Dr Sykes welcomed what he termed the first major overhaul of Victoria’s emergency management system since 1986.

He said resilience forms a key part of the government’s white paper on emergency management reform.

“Under the white paper reforms, there will be a greater focus on mitigating hazards and supporting community-based planning,” he said.

“These reforms will change the way we prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.”