19 February 2021

The Building Stronger Homes Roundtable convened by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and Master Builders Australia (MBA) has proposed a number of disaster mitigation and resilience initiatives that will help to strengthen existing homes and communities against extreme weather events.

The second Building Stronger Homes Roundtable held at Parliament House, Canberra yesterday was attended by over 70 representatives from the property, banking, real estate and architecture industries, as well as state and federal government departments and agencies.

The initiative focused on the financial impacts of natural disasters, the cost of rebuilding and the learnings from existing resilient homes programs, with the aim of creating actionable change.

Both organisations have committed to working with government to improve information sharing between the sectors, and to improving consumer information on housing resilience.

ICA CEO Andrew Hall said there needs to be greater sharing and coordination of data between relevant stakeholder industries and State Governments.

“An advisory committee established and funded by government is recommended for the collation of data and the reinforcement of resilience resources,” Mr Hall said.

“There is a tremendous community benefit in sharing impact assessment data as it allows for funds and other benefits (such as emergency accommodation) to be made available to residents without the insurer having to wait until the property is accessible.

MBA CEO Denita Wawn said it is important to get good information out to the building supply chain as well as the broader community about what’s needed to build more resilient homes.

“Developing best practice guidance and understanding costs and benefits is the first step in the process of getting building standards right,” Ms Wawn said.

“This should be supported by education programs for the building supply chain and the broader community that address how improvements to existing homes can improve building resilience.”

Two further Building Stronger Homes Roundtables will be held in the first half of 2021.

Ends...