Integrating Recovery within a Resilience Framework: Empirical Insights and Policy Implications from Regional Australia
Within Australia’s federal system, responsibility for preventing, preparing for, responding to and recovering from natural disasters is shared between the three tiers of government. Intergovernmental policy and funding arrangements are premised on shared responsibility and aim to foster individual, business and community resilience. These arrangements underpin Australia’s international reputation for effectiveness in its management of natural disasters. The capacity of the diverse networks that comprise the disaster management system to coordinate and deliver in the preparedness and response phases of a disaster, and to provide relief in the immediate aftermath, has been developed over time and tested and refined through the experience of frequent, severe disaster events over recent decades. Less well developed is the system’s ability to support economic recovery in disaster-affected communities over the longer term. This paper presents case studies of regional communities affected by two of Australia’s most expensive and deadly natural disasters—the 2009 Victorian bushfires and the cyclones and floods that struck the state of Queensland in 2010–2011. It highlights significant gaps in policy and funding arrangements to support recovery and offers lessons for aligning recovery within a resilience framework.
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