12 Apr 2022
The Australian Government is reducing the risk and minimising the impact to communities of large scale natural disasters like floods, bushfires and cyclones in Mayo and Kingston by directly funding ten important projects to the value of $6.8 million.
The Preparing Australian Communities Program – Local stream is the first tranche of the Preparing Australia Program, an investment by the Australian Government of $600 million over six years to build the nation’s resilience to natural disasters.
Senator for South Australia Andrew McLachlan CSC said local communities are best placed to understand their unique needs and how they can improve their resilience and reduce their level of risk to natural disasters.
“Through community feedback, these ten essential projects have been identified and acted upon and I’m incredibly pleased to announce such a significant funding stream,” Senator McLachlan said.
“As part of this funding, we are providing more than $3.5 million to the City of Onkaparinga to reduce bushfire risks and increase community resilience to this hazard.
“The Adelaide Hills Council will receive more than $1 million to carry out community training for future bushfire events, while the District Council of Mount Barker will also receive more than $1.3 million for bushfire related prevention programs.
“On Kangaroo Island, the local council will utilise $290,000 in funding to develop a whole-of-Island Action Plan for natural disaster, while the Kingscote Football Club will use just under $100,000 to upgrade its emergency relief centre and last resort refuge.
“Other funding highlights include $100,000 to address climate change related issues in the Adelaide Hills, $97,900 for training in cultural burning techniques and $99,532 to upgrade community facilities at the Charleston Hall.”
In total, 158 essential projects across the country have shared in $150 million dollars from the Commonwealth Government.
“Disasters currently cost Australia $18.2 billion per year and this has been forecast to rise to $39 billion per year by 2050, even without increased frequency and intensity of weather events due to climate change,” Senator McLachlan said.
“In delivering this program, the Australian Government is not only increasing disaster preparedness and resilience, but also dramatically reducing the potential costs in time and money of recovery.”
There are three streams of the Preparing Australia Program:
For more information and a full list of projects funded under Round One of the Preparing Australian Communities Program – Local stream visit: https://recovery.gov.au/disaster-risk-reduction/preparing-australia-program
Funded projects in Mayo/Kingston
Kangaroo Island Natural Disaster Risk Mitigation
Organisation: Kangaroo Island Council
Government contribution: $290,000
Project description: The objective of the Council's Kangaroo Island (KI) Natural Disaster Risk Mitigation Project is to consult with relevant stakeholder groups to develop a prioritised, fully costed whole-of-Island Action Plan aligned to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework. The Action Plan will provide Council and our partner agencies with a unified and coordinated plan of work activities and investment opportunities to better prepare the local community for natural disasters and, in turn, speed up the recovery effort.
Bushfires & Biodiversity: building balanced, long-term regional resilience
Organisation: Southern And Hills Local Government Association
Government contribution: $100,000
Project description: Climate change increasing bushfire hazards to property and biodiversity is a major concern of at-risk communities in the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island. Often, short-term and small-scale bushfire risk mitigation is pitted against long-term and regional-scale bushfire and biodiversity resilience – exacerbated by a lack of clear guidance for landholders. However, with better education, pre-fire preparation and post-fire recovery planning, more bushfire and biodiversity co-benefits could be realised. This project will address critical knowledge and capability gaps for regional authorities in how to support balanced, long-term bushfire risk reduction and biodiversity resilience at both the property and regional scales.
Cultural burning for bushfire risk reduction in the Bull Creek Range
Organisation: Goolwa To Wellington Local Action Planning Association Incorporated
Government contribution: $97,900
Project description: This project aims to scope, plan, model and train participants in Cultural burning techniques on Peramangk Country in the Bull Creek Range, SA. Working with the Firesticks Alliance and stakeholders to facilitate training, implement on-ground works and conduct scientific monitoring we aim to establish a greater understanding of the ecological impact and bushfire risk reduction using cultural burning practices. We aim to work with fire to enhance ecosystem health by improving habitat condition and connectivity. Professional coordination will ensure there is: Respect for Country and the Traditional Custodians through two-way management; ecological assessment and review; training of relevant persons for ongoing management; sharing of outcomes.
Fire 2 Flourish: mitigate and reduce disaster risk in the Mt Barker LGA
Organisation: Mount Barker District Council
Government contribution: $1,376,818
Project description: We will work with individuals, businesses and community groups to build their capacity to prepare for, adapt to, and recover from disasters using a “locally-led” approach. We will:
1. Offer education, information and advice for landholders to improve fuel load management.
2. Work with community groups to implement community-led emergency response plans.
3. Provide opportunities to prepare community members to take on leadership roles in disaster planning, response and recovery.
4. Train and develop staff to understand and respond to trauma in communities.
5. Investigate and implement indigenous land and fire management strategies.
6. Investigate and implement strategies to improve roadside vegetation management.
Upgrade of Kingscote Emergency Relief Centre and Last Resort Refuge
Organisation: Kingscote Football Club
Government contribution: $99,542
Project description: The precinct is the Kangaroo Island Council nominated location for the Emergency Relief Centre and Last Resort Refuge. The project will Invest in new Infrastructure and upgrade current infrastructure, improving the response to natural disasters and minimising the impact and the associated burdens inflicted upon the Kangaroo Island community. It will provide fit for purpose facilities for the emergency services, and community supporting the response to future natural disasters and and will refurbish and renew the quality, safety and standard of facilities available to the community.
Improving facilities at Charleston Hall for relief, support and resilience
Organisation: Charleston Community Centre Inc
Government contribution: $99,532
Project description: Install a fire protection and reticulated tanks, AV system, and satellite internet/wi-fi at our community Hall. This is to aid in resilience planning and recovery pre/post a major emergency such as a fire. The hall can operate independently, particularly if we lose power, water and mobile phone services for an extended period as occurred during the 2019 bushfires. The aim is to provide these services as part of a focus on community resilience planning, and to recover quickly from such an emergency. This is Phase 3 of our project to ensure our Hall is an integral community asset to meet identified needs, as researched and articulated during recent Red Cross-led and Council supported resilience planning.
Towards Community Led Resilience
Organisation: Adelaide Hills Council
Government contribution: $1,028,800
Project description: Project will increase community capacity, leadership & sustainability for future bushfire events. It responds to community feedback from previous bushfire recovery work, increasing community resilience. Activities include:
- Community Led Emergency Resilience workshops with Red Cross
- establish Ad Hills Community Readiness Network
- deliver bushfire mental preparedness sessions
- improve web based info on bushfire Readiness, Recovery & Resilience, incl content 'user testing' for vulnerable groups
- build Council’s capacity to respond to natural disasters
- improve community infrastructure for use in future recovery
- improve Council’s verge management for bushfire risk reduction
- undertake research into community led recovery.
Bushfire preparedness and resilience in the City of Onkaparinga
Organisation: City of Onkaparinga
Government contribution: $3,578,875
Project description: The project deliverables reduce bushfire risk throughout the City of Onkaparinga and increase community resilience to this hazard. The project comprises Four main Activity areas:
1. Bushfire fuel load reduction
2. Woody weed control
3. Understanding bushfire risk
4. Resident education
We will leverage existing experience in fuel load reduction, community development and project management to deliver innovative and effective techniques to understand and reduce risk, both on our land and privately owned land through communication and education for our residents.
Community expectations around fuel load reduction will be met, which will reduce anxiety and also set a leading example of best practice for our residents and other landholders
SKER Bushfire Infrastructure
Organisation: Southern Koala And Echidna Rescue Ltd
Government contribution: $37,250
Project description: SKER is based on a 22-acre property in the Onkaparinga LGA in SA where we have established facilities including enclosures, food plantations and a rehabilitation centre for the wildlife we rescue. Our hotline receives 500 calls a year from concerned members of the community seeking help for wildlife and we are pleased to be able to relieve these concerns for our community.
SKER have undertaken a bushfire preparedness assessment and this project has been established to address the gaps identified. The primary objective of this project is to ensure the:
1. safety of volunteers onsite during a bushfire
2. site can continue to care for wildlife during the bushfire season
3. site doesn't increase the bushfire risk to neighbouring properties
Resilient South Regional Climate Action Plan
Organisation: Corporation Of The City Of Marion
Government contribution: $99,000
Project description: Resilient South is a partnership between the Cities of Holdfast Bay, Marion, Mitcham and Onkaparinga and the South Australian Government, which provides a platform to progress a regional response to climate change and disaster preparedness. This project will develop a five year Regional Plan to prioritise and fund addressing the most pressing issues to build Council and community preparedness for the acute impacts of climate change (namely bushfires and flooding). Key activities will include business continuity, maintenance of community infrastructure, reducing urban heat, ensuring disaster plans and infrastructure is up-to-date and community engagement. These projects will ensure chronic and acute climate impacts are minimised.