Disaster recovery payments expected to double

·1-min read

Disaster payments to the states are expected to more than double to $6.5 billion compared to the previous three years.

The figure was revealed in an audit of the disaster recovery funding arrangement (DRFA) payment system released on Thursday.

The federal government made $3.1 billion in DRFA payments to state governments between June 2018 and June 2022.

It expects to make $6.4 billion in DRFA payments to the states between 2022/23 and 2025/26, including $3.5 billion for disasters that occurred in 2021/22.

The payments are made to state governments for things such as emergency food and essential housing repairs; concessional loans, subsidies and grants to small businesses and farmers; clean-up and recovery grants; and exceptional circumstances assistance.

Last year there were 27 disasters which attracted various categories of DRFA funding, including cyclones, floods, storms and bushfires.

The auditor-general found the National Emergency Management Agency's administration of the DRFA was "largely effective".

But the audit recommended better arrangements to monitor and report on its administrative performance.

The agency accepted the audit's recommendations.

"NEMA has been implementing ongoing reform and improvements to processes, administration and monitoring of the DRFA," the agency said.

"This is in line with public expectations that the commonwealth agency responsible for delivering support for communities impacted by disasters does so in a way that ensures the effective and appropriate use of taxpayer funds."