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Rudd Government thanks emergency services personnel.

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8 October 2008


Attorney-General Robert McClelland has today marked the United Nations International Day for Disaster Reduction by commending Australia’s emergency agencies on their efforts in reducing the risk of emergencies and disasters.

“Natural disasters impact our great country on an annual basis, but thanks to the tireless work of our emergency services, Australian communities are always well placed to bounce back from adversity,” Mr McClelland said.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in Australia’s emergency agencies, including the many thousands of volunteers who give up their time to ensure the public is prepared for and safe from disasters such as floods and cyclones.”

Since coming to power, the Rudd Government has made clear its support for the emergency services sector. This includes:

• Building on education and community awareness programs   • Strengthening early warning systems for cyclones, severe thunderstorms and fires   • Funding innovative emergency projects that help build community preparedness for  effective response  

• Progressing an Australian Tsunami Warning System, and   • Developing a national risk assessment framework. 

The Rudd Government is also providing $19.2 million in 2008/09 to the Natural Disaster Mitigation Program to help States, Territories and local councils prepare for disasters. This program provides an opportunity for all levels of government, working in partnership, to reduce the effects of natural disasters on Australia’s communities.

“Australians understand that investing in mitigation before a disaster strikes not only saves money down the track, but can also save the lives of loved ones,” Mr McClelland said.

Media Contact:

Adam Sims, Mr McClelland’s office, 0419 480 224 Alastair Wilson, Emergency Management Australia, Media Liaison, 0408 606 462