Remarks by Representative Jenny Bloomfield at Virtual GCTF Workshop on Building Disaster Resilience
24 September 2021
The Australian Office is pleased to co-host this Global Cooperation and Training Framework forum on Building Disaster Resilience.
I would like to thank our partners – Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, the American Institute in Taiwan, the British Office Taipei and implementing partner the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction.
Every year, Australian communities face devastating losses caused by natural disasters. Bushfires, floods, cyclones, drought, have always been a part of the Australian landscape, with significant impacts on communities, the economy, and the environment.
Supporting communities affected by disaster and building resilience, as well as reducing risk and lessening the impacts of future shocks, are important goals for us all. COVID has shown us all how quickly the world can change, and the vital importance of building disaster resilience.
The Australian Government established the National Recovery and Resilience Agency to do exactly that – to provide national leadership and coordination in recovery, build resilience in communities and drive efforts to reduce the impact of future disasters.
We are delighted to have the Agency’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Mr Nico Padovan PSM, speak to us today.
In Australia, we know that building capacity to withstand and recover from emergencies and disasters requires a whole-of-nation effort.
Building disaster resilient communities is not solely the domain of governments and emergency management agencies.
It is a shared responsibility between governments, communities, businesses, households and individuals.
It is a long-term, evolving process to deliver sustained behavioural change and enduring partnerships.
It requires all of us - central, regional and local governments, business and community leaders, non-government organisations and ordinary citizens - to work together to meet this challenge.
And it also requires international cooperation. Australia's location in the Indo-Pacific provides us with a unique perspective, and we are proud to work with partners in our region and around the world, to build resilience and deliver humanitarian assistance when disasters hit - including our COVID-19 response and recovery efforts through our “Partnerships for Recovery”.
And we are working to build the resilience of regional countries and communities to future disasters and shocks, and help partners manage crisis responses themselves, by building the capacity of national governments and civil society.
For all of us, our security and prosperity depends on our preparedness, responsiveness and resilience to disasters.
We look forward to sharing lessons and working together to strengthen our capacity to manage risk, build public trust and confidence, and enhance national preparedness, responsiveness and resilience, now and in the future, for the benefit of all.