News National Businesses calls for action on disaster risk

Businesses calls for action on disaster risk

Hundreds of scammers have seen the Australian bushfires as an opportunity to make money. Photo: Getty
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The small business sector has called on the Morrison government to push ahead with a plan to reduce the risks from disasters such as bushfires.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework was published in 2018, following a summit of more than 100 participants.

It notes that disasters are becoming more frequent and intense, and are affecting more people.

The framework estimates an annual economic cost from disasters of at least $39 billion by 2050, a figure that does not include the effects of a changing climate.

But 18 months on from the initial framework, an implementation plan has not been published.

“We have a plan to adapt to climate change – let’s use it,” Council of Small Business chief executive Peter Strong says.

“We need the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework implemented now.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the ABC on Sunday the report had not collected dust on a shelf.

He said the last federal budget included $130 million to establish the framework and emergency services ministers had discussed it in June.

“They’re working with local governments to put this in place.”

Meanwhile, Mr Morrison is working on a cabinet submission for a royal commission into the bushfires.

If the states agree, the inquiry would look at operational issues, and cooperation between federal and state governments as well as the impact of climate change.

The Prime Minister has taken a hit in the latest Newspoll over his handling of the bushfires.

Mr Morrison’s personal approval ratings have plunged and Labor now leads the coalition government for the first time since the election.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said the Prime Minister had shown “a bit of complacency”.

“This is a national crisis – the bushfires don’t recognise state boundaries – and there should have been much more preparation,” Mr Albanese told Triple M Hobart.