ABV’s submission into the integrity of Commonwealth disaster resilience funding

Challenges like disaster recovery and resilience building, regional development and community safety cannot be solved through traditional models.

Holistic, place-based planning must be developed for each area utilising community-led, collaborative approaches.  

During August 2020 – October 2022 ABV demonstrated a model of support to disaster affected communities in NSW and Victoria. 

Drawing on ABV’s 40 years’ of experience in international development, ABV developed a unique planning approach to some of Australia’s bushfire-affected communities. This approach connects community priorities with skilled volunteers that can facilitate community-led visioning to plan for the future. ABV played an important mediation role supporting community organisations to engage successfully with government agencies. 

In ABV’s submission we proposed the need for reform of resilience building at government levels and invest this into community -led solutions with greater transparency behind funding allocation.  

By funding facilitators like ABV instead solely in government organisations there is an opportunity to allow communities to set their own priorities and provide feedback during and after the process. Funding allocation needs to be executed timely to reduce immediate risk while also allowing communities to collectively plan a rebuild and coordinate projects without having to compete against one another. ABV facilitates cooperation and collaboration between community stakeholders to help organisations understand each other’s initiatives and projects. 

ABV believes pressure can be taken off already stretched community groups by restructuring grant applications to have less complexity and allow for longer submission deadlines. ABV has put forward that it is crucial to recognise the impacts of trauma on communities and to acknowledge how the funding process can exclude a large portion of members who don’t have the skills and resources to apply for complicated grants. Ultimately the current funding structure doesn’t work to support vulnerable communities to improve their resilience or to build back better. 

Through ABV’s work in the disaster resilience space, ABV has successfully built the trust of local community organisations and NEMA across the 7 LGAs.

Click here to review ABV's submission.

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