SENATOR MURRAY WATT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR DISASTER AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
LABOR SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
WARREN SNOWDON MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS
MEMBER FOR LINGIARI
SENATOR MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY
LABOR SENATOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR LINGIARI
An Albanese Labor Government will improve the Northern Territory’s disaster readiness by investing $5 million towards building cyclone shelters in the remote West Arnhem communities of Maningrida and Milingimbi.
Maningrida is the largest remote community in the Northern Territory, with over 3,000 Indigenous residents. It is also the service hub for over 30 remote outstations and homelands, whose residents often move to Maningrida during cyclone season. Despite this and its coastal location putting it in the pathway of dangerous cyclones, Maningrida currently has no dedicated cyclone shelter.
Milingimbi is a very low lying, island community that is increasingly vulnerable to cyclones and is often isolated during cyclone season. Up to 1,500 people live in Milingimbi and the existing cyclone shelter is small, old and insufficient. During Cyclone Lam in 2015, which recorded winds of up to 260 kilometres per hour, hundreds of residents sheltered in their homes or at the local airport.
Too many remote communities in the Top End lack sufficient capacity to shelter a community’s entire population. This means that if residents of a community are unable to evacuate via road or sea, a full or partial air evacuation of the community may be required.
These cyclone shelters are critical pieces of infrastructure to future proof the NT against the impacts of devastating natural disasters.
An Albanese Labor Government will contribute $5 million towards these projects, with the remainder to be funded by the Northern Territory Government.
The cyclone shelters will be funded through Labor’s Disaster Ready Fund, which will revamp the Morrison Government’s failed Emergency Response Fund and invest up to $200 million per year on disaster prevention and resilience.
Where possible, this funding will be matched by State, Territory or local governments, providing up to $400 million annually for investment in disaster prevention and resilience - something called for by groups as broad as the Government’s own Productivity Commission, insurers, local governments and disaster relief bodies.
Three years after it was announced, the Emergency Response Fund has not spent a cent on disaster recovery and has not completed a single disaster prevention project. All it has done is earn the Morrison Government over $800 million in interest.
Labor will put these funds to work to keep Australians safe, keep properties safe and reduce the cost of repairing damage from natural disasters.
Only an Albanese Labor Government will keep Australians safe and communities strong in the face of natural disasters.
Only Labor will build a better future for disaster prone communities.
TUESDAY, 15 MARCH 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: ASHLEIGH DWAN (WATT) 0429 260 093