Disasters (2): are we paying attention?

While Europeans count the cost of last week’s catastrophe, it might be worth while considering our own situation. Although we at FOBIF are a bit worried about our tendency to repeat ourselves, here we go again: this is from our report on last year’s Royal Commission into natural disasters:

‘The 2004 National Inquiry on Bushfire Mitigation and Management, said that, to reduce natural hazard risk from bushfires: Planning processes [should] ensure that built assets are not placed in areas of high fire risk and that structures meet standards of construction that reduce their vulnerability.’

[2020] ‘Currently, all states permit homes to be built in bushfire and flood prone areas, and the degree to which planning or building standards act to mitigate risk varies across jurisdictions’…

‘…there is still clear evidence of recent planning decisions placing communities at a known and obvious risk of disaster. For example, development in the suburb of Idalia in Townsville is only partially completed, yet it was significantly inundated by flood in February 2019.’

Oh well. As the Commission sadly noted, Australia has now had 240 reports into natural disasters. And maybe we’ll have a few more before too long…

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