Floodplain development ‘needs to end’, work starts on national standard
12 December 2022
First Ministers tasked Planning Ministers with developing a national standard to consider disaster and climate risk as part of land use planning reform, at a National Cabinet meeting on Friday.
Ministers also agreed that “the days of developing on floodplains need to end”.
“This is a significant step forward in protecting Australians from extreme weather events,” a statement on the Prime Minister’s website says.
“National Cabinet also noted progress on reforms and improvements to the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements by National Emergency Management Ministers and tasked Treasurers to consider ways to improve insurance affordability.”
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says it “strongly supports” the agreement on floodplains, and looks forward to working with treasurers on insurance affordability.
ICA says this year’s east coast floods have “conclusively demonstrated” that there are parts of the country “that should not be developed for future housing, and where existing housing should be relocated or adapted”.
“The ICA has long argued for reform of land use planning arrangements and so warmly welcomes [the] agreement by National Cabinet,” CEO Andrew Hall said.
“Reforming land use planning, strengthening our building codes, investing in household and community resilience, are the only sustainable ways of both reducing risks from extreme weather events and improving insurance affordability.
“State treasurers could reduce the cost of insurance right now by reforming stamp duties and taxes on insurance, which in some states add up to 25% to the cost of a premium and only make insurance less affordable.”
Planning Ministers will report back to National Cabinet next year.