How can Australia better prepare itself for natural disasters?

AgForce calls on banks to show compassion for farmers hurt by Townsville floods


Banks need to cut farmers some slack from default interest repayments and show some compassion following the wide-scale flooding in Townsville, according to a peak agriculture group.

With the behaviour of banks towards their rural customers under the spotlight at the Hayne royal commission, AgForce chief executive Michael Guerin said he supported key recommendations to ensure banks involved in rural lending demonstrated fairness and compassion when dealing with their customers, especially after natural disasters like the Townsville floods.

As reports of two deaths emerged and floodwaters continued to play havoc, Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrived in Townsville on Tuesday to meet with authorities and residents who are responding to the unprecedented…


How can Australia better prepare itself for natural disasters?

John Bates from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre says natural disasters are occurring more frequently in Australia and lasting for longer.

“We’re starting to get to a point where the number of natural hazards that are happening and the extension of the seasons is starting to stretch what the capacity of those resources are to respond,” he told SBS News.

People power

Mr Bates says planning for future natural disasters needs to involve efforts to bolster emergency resources.

“Particularly looking at the volunteers and where they’re coming from because there is an aging demographic in the volunteer workforce at the moment,” he said.

“Agencies across the country are looking at what they can do and how they can continue to attract and retain new volunteers.”…


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