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Disaster research funding ‘pivotal for resilience’

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Long-term funding for natural hazards research “plays a pivotal role” in improving disaster resilience, Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud says, prompting the Government to commit to a new research centre while last summer’s bushfires “linger in the national psyche”.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre (BNHCRC) has been awarded $88.1 million over the next decade and approval to build a new, world-class research centre for disaster resilience and risk reduction.

This will herald a new era of research and deliver real outcomes, Mr Littleproud says.

“The new centre will deliver world-leading, evidence-based research to support the needs of our emergency services and communities across Australia to reduce climate and disaster risks, and prepare for, respond to and recover from future natural disasters.”

Resilience to floods, cyclones and bushfires must be optimised to minimise their impact on lives, communities and the environment, Mr Littleproud said.

“The Government is committed to backing applied natural hazards research which will deliver tangible outcomes as well as innovative knowledge and solutions.”

The centre’s CEO, Richard Thornton, says natural catastrophes are causing more damage across Australia than ever before.

The new funding will allow his team to identify the most important lessons to improve mitigation, response and recovery, he said.