Australian Roundtable Wins International Recognition for Disaster Recovery

The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities – consisting of IAG, Munich Re, Westpac, Investa Property Group, Optus and the Australian Red Cross – has been awarded the Certificate of Distinction in the 2015 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction. It is the first private sector organisation to do so in the 30 year history of the awards.

The honour, which recognises individuals or entities that have made innovative efforts to reduce the impact of disasters and build resilience, was awarded to the Roundtable for their continued research into the potential budget savings in ongoing disaster costs in the next 30 years.

The Roundtable won from a competitive field of 88 nominations from 44 countries this year.

The Roundtable’s White Paper “Building Our Nation’s Resilience to Natural Disasters” explores potential proactive approaches which could be taken to equip all levels of the Australian government in tackling the large, unexpected costs of natural disaster. According to the Paper, while the public cost of natural disaster recovery in 2012 was estimated to be $6 billion, this is expected to increase to roughly $12 billion in 2030 and $23 billion by 2050 (in 2011 values).

Many of the suggested actions – ranging from raising dam walls to building more resilient housing in flood and bushfire prone areas – were tested using benefit-to-cost ratios, which included all potential costs incurred without a resiliency strategy, and the cost of implementing an effective resiliency strategy.

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