Canberra recognised by United Nations for disaster resilience

Released 06/09/2012

The United Nations has recognised Canberra as a leader in disaster resilience and best practice for other cities to follow worldwide, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell, said today.

"To have Canberra officially recognised as an international role model shows the commitment of the ACT Labor Government to protect Canberrans against disasters," Mr Corbell said.

"For Canberra to be the first Australian capital city selected for this prestigious acknowledgement is a real testament to the excellent work being done in emergency services in the Territory."

Mr Corbell received recognition under the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) today, following an official presentation in Naples earlier this week.

At the presentation, UNISDR Chief and UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, said: "UNISDR is pleased to welcome the government of the Australian Capital Territory as a Role Model for the 'Making Cities Resilient' Campaign which now has over 1,000 members worldwide.

"Canberra has shown us how important organisational capacity is when it comes to building resilience against a wide range of natural hazards in the most disaster-prone region of the world," she continued.

Mr Corbell said the ACT has faced a number of natural disasters in recent years, including the heavy rain and subsequent flooding earlier this year, the violent storms in January 2011 and the severe bushfires of 2003.

"With warmer temperatures and the bushfire season approaching, this is a timely reminder that prevention is better than cure, and we need to ensure that, as a city, we are prepared and equipped to respond to emergency situations and lessen the devastating impact of disasters in the Territory.

 "The government continues to invest significantly in emergency services in the Territory in prevention, preparedness, response and recovery and developed significant capability across a range of hazards in the ACT.

"Disaster resilience is a high priority of the ACT Government, and I have committed $42.4 million in additional funding for frontline emergency services to boost personnel and resources in 2012-13," Mr Corbell concluded.

The 'Making Cities Resilient' campaign seeks to raise awareness about the benefits of reducing urban risk and encourages governments to invest in disaster risk reduction activities and build safer, more resilient infrastructure within cities.


- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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