Australia Launches National Emergency Agency

♦ Australia launches National Emergency Agency – Australia has launched a new agency to deliver national leadership and strategic coordination of emergencies and disaster preparedness, response, relief, recovery, reconstruction, risk reduction and resilience.

NEMA was formed by merging Emergency Management Australia and the National Recovery and Resilience Agency and the minister for emergency management Murray Watt said combining the functions would strengthen Australia’s preparedness, response and recovery from natural disasters.

“Previously Australia’s disaster response and recovery agencies were kept separate, but the new, single agency will provide end-to-end support,” Watt said.

“It will lead the commonwealth’s efforts to prepare for future disasters, respond when disaster strikes and remain deeply connected with communities during recovery.”

NEMA is expected to provide a coordinated approach to emergency response and future hazards, as well as delivering strategic oversight and guidance into unfolding disasters.

Watt said Australia’s long-term resilience and preparedness capability was critical in the face of longer and more intense natural disasters due to climate change.

“As well as costing lives and livelihoods, disasters cost Australia $38 billion per year on average, with that cost estimated to reach at least $73 billion per year by 2060,” Watt said.

“The best way we can collectively deal with more frequent and severe disasters is to be better prepared and to adapt to the effects of climate change. That goes for the Australian government, as well as for disaster-prone communities.”

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