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Emergency management

We coordinate efforts to respond to and recover from disasters and emergencies.

​​​The Australian Government helps individuals and communities recover from disasters with financial support. The type of help available depends on the impacts of the natural disaster.

We help eligible individuals with the:

  • Disaster Recovery Payment
    This is a one-off, non-means tested payment of AUD1000 for eligible adults and AUD400 for eligible children affected by a major disaster either in Australia or overseas.
  • Disaster Recovery Allowance
    This is a short-term income support payment to help individuals who show that the disaster directly impacted their income.

We also provide financial support to state and territory governments in joint cost sharing arrangements for clean up and recovery.

See DisasterAssist website for updates about the current bushfire disaster, how to get help and how to provide assistance. We will update this site with all the information you need about what the Government is doing to help individuals, communities, businesses and local governments to recover from these bushfires.

New Zealanders living in Australia

Where the Australian Government has made disaster recovery payments available, we may provide a similar payment to eligible New Zealand special category visa (subclass 444) holders residing in Australia who have been directly impacted by a major disaster.

This includes:

  • the ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance (ex-gratia DRA) for short term income support
  • the ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment (ex-gratia DRP) for a one-off, non means tested payment

These payments are delivered in line with the conditions and eligibility of DRA and DRP under the Social Security Act 1991.

Learn more at GrantConnect.

Emergency Response Fund

The Emergency Response Fund (ERF) was established on the commencement of the Emergency Response Fund Act 2019  on 12 December 2019.

The ERF allows the Australian Government to draw up to $200 million in any given year, beyond what is already available to fund emergency response and natural disaster recovery and preparedness, where it determines the existing recovery and resilience-building programs are insufficient to provide an appropriate response to natural disasters.

From 2019-20, the Australian Government will be able to draw on the ERF subject to the following limits:

  • $150 million available each financial year to fund emergency response and recovery following natural disasters in Australia that have a significant or catastrophic impact
  • $50 million each financial year to build resilience to, prepare for or reduce the risk of future natural disasters, and build the long-term sustainability of communities that are at risk of being affected by a future natural disaster.

See: Emergency Response Fund guidelines

National Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program​

On Thursday, 10 December 2020, the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, the Hon David Littleproud MP, announced the establishment of the National Flood Mitigation Infrastructure​ Program.

The Australian Government has established the program under the Emergency Response Fund to deliver $50 million to state and territory governments for the construction or improvement of flood mitigation infrastructure.

The program will contribute to the creation of a more disaster resilient and prepared Australia by providing funding for essential public assets that will:

  • reduce the impacts of floods on Australian communities
  • contribute to reducing eligible expenditure under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements
  • encourage positive change in the insurability of infrastructure
  • address relevant household or local government insurance affordability.

In addition, the program is expected to stimulate regional and national economic growth and local job creation.

States and territory governments are invited to apply to the program via their emergency management minister. Projects and their priority must be informed by the advice of local government and communities, as they are best placed to understand their own disaster preparedness and risk reduction needs.

The Program Guidelines​​ provide an overview of the program, including the purpose, objectives, outcomes and governance arrangements.

A Frequently Asked Questions document is also available to assist the application process.

Applications to the program opened on 21 December 2020 and close at 5pm AEST 12 February 2021. State and territory governments are to submit applications using the prescribed​ application form, which can be accessed by emailing national.flood.mitigation@homeaffairs.gov.au