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Implementing disaster resilience policy in the Australian Federation

TitleImplementing disaster resilience policy in the Australian Federation
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHunt, S
Conference NameAFAC17
Date Published09/2017
PublisherBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Conference LocationSydney

Australia committed to reorienting its disaster management system to emphasise disaster prevention, preparedness and risk mitigation when it adopted the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR). Since then the notion of resilience has penetrated the Australian disaster management system to the extent that many, if not most, disaster management activities are now described in terms of resilience.

While there is broad consensus about the necessary elements of disaster resilience policy, these have generally been expressed in Australia as high level and principles-based. To build a more disaster resilient nation, it is therefore important to understand not only what needs to be done, but how to do it within the context of Australia’s federal system and its disaster management arrangements.

This research investigated implementation of disaster resilience policy in Australia from the perspective of Social Capital, Community Competence, Information and Communication and Economic Development – policy domains identified as essential for creating community disaster resilience. A combination of literature study and empirical methods was used to examine if, and how, policy objectives linked to these domains underpin the implementation of disaster resilience activities at different levels of government and in the business and community sectors.

The results point to a general need to plan disaster resilience implementation more thoroughly, including ensuring it is better informed by evidence. In addition, consideration should be given to the opportunities and limitations on disaster resilience outcomes posed by the characteristics and policy mechanisms of Australia’s  federal system.

Furthermore, not only do relevant policy objectives for supporting disaster resilience need to be more carefully identified, selected and applied, but more attention needs to be given to the principle of subsidiarity to ensure successful implementation within our federal system.

Refereed DesignationRefereed

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