The Australian Government should commission an independent public review of disaster prevention and recovery arrangements. This should be broader than the review currently being conducted by the Attorney-General’s Department. The review should cover the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, as well as the funding mechanisms for disaster mitigation, including the National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience. This review should:
• consider whether arrangements lead to inadequate disaster-mitigation infrastructure investments or insurance decisions, or reduce the incentives of state and territory governments to appropriately manage their risks
• clearly outline the process for the identification of disaster-mitigation infrastructure needs, the provision and appropriate funding of this infrastructure, and the allocation of operational responsibilities
• evaluate the adequacy of current arrangements for the provision of post-disaster assistance, including guidelines and processes for project evaluation and the criteria for approving and funding the betterment of essential public assets
• consider the balance of resources devoted to prevention and preparedness relative to response and recovery through a cost–benefit analysis of reform options
• involve extensive consultation with the community and all levels of government.

Recommendation 9