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The DRFA Needs to Change

The Australian Federal Election is now in full swing and SEATS has developed 8 federal electorate advocacy programs representing all SEATS members. The 40 candidates running in our 8 federal electorates have been provided with our list of SEATS Priority Projects and discussions with various candidates continue.

All candidates have been briefed on our focus on “betterment” in transport infrastructure funding as SEATS members have been dealing with significant climatic events including bushfires, wind storms, and flooding.

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) is an obstacle to community disaster recovery due to its narrow focus and complexity. The Black Summer Bushfire experience identifies the need for significant change in policy and practice. DRFA is intended to provide a mechanism for local governments to be supported in the costs associated with responding to a disaster, including the provision of relief, and in the restoration of essential infrastructure. What’s needed is a more streamlined evidence and claims process that better reflects the emergency context in which work is undertaken. The approach also needs to change to enable the reconstruction of public assets to a higher disaster-resilient standard, and reduce expenditure on asset restoration. Reforms also need to allow for critical safety measures, such as hazardous debris clean-up after natural disasters, to occur over time.
The current funding system makes it difficult for government and organisations to build back better as there is a higher level of scrutiny for Category D applications under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

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