Disaster Ready Fund
About the $200 million Disaster Ready Fund (DRF) - Round One 2023-24
On 7 June 2023, the Australian Government announced the successful projects funded across Australia through the $200 million first round of the Disaster Ready Fund (DRF). In Queensland, 50 projects have been approved receiving more than $84 million in Commonwealth funding to support disaster risk reduction, including 40 projects for councils, three for state agencies, five for non-government organisations and two for universities.
The DRF is the Australian Government’s flagship disaster risk reduction initiative which will fund a diverse set of projects in partnership with states and territories to deliver medium-term and long-term national outcomes, investing up to $1 billion over the next five years.
The list of successful projects is published below including recipient name, project name and funding amount.
In Queensland, the DRF Round One 2023-24 is administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA).
Status and next steps
The DRF Round One 2023-24 program is in development.
Next steps for the Disaster Ready Fund (DRF) - Round One 2023-24 program:
- The Commonwealth is currently finalising the overarching Federal Funding Agreement-Environment Schedule and the Audit and Reporting Framework that outlines the funding and reporting arrangements for the program.
- After the Schedule has been finalised and signed, QRA will be working with successful applicants to develop the statewide Implementation Plan covering all 50 successful projects in Queensland. The Implementation Plan is to be developed within three months from the Schedule being signed, and must be approved by the Commonwealth before any work can commence.
- Once the Implementation Plan is approved, QRA will process the submissions through MARS and provide applicants with a project funding agreement for signing. Projects cannot commence until this time, and this process is likely to take 4-6 months from the date of announcement of successful projects which was in June 2023. It is expected that project funding agreements will be finalised in late 2023 - early 2024, and then projects can commence.
In Queensland, the total Commonwealth funding amount is $84,187,850.
List of all successful DRF Round 1 projects 2023-24 (Queensland)
|Recipient name||Project name||Funding|
|Brisbane City Council||Flood mitigation backflow device - water level sensor||$150,000.00|
|Brisbane City Council||Live Stream Flood Monitoring Cameras||$200,000.00|
|Brisbane City Council||Flood Study Program||$950,000.00|
|Brisbane City Council||Backflow device automation in Brisbane’s CBD||$150,000.00|
|Brisbane City Council||Shoreline Erosion Management - Cowan Cowan, Mulgumpin (Moreton Island)||$224,000.00|
|Burke Shire Council||Flood Warning Infrastructure Doomadgee West Road – Lagoon and Branch Creek||$88,561.62|
|Burnett Catchment Care Association||Building Resilience in the Agricultural South Burnett||$288,500.00|
|Cairns Regional Council||Building Evacuation and Sheltering Capacity - Assessment of places of refuge||$40,000.00|
|Central Highlands Regional Council||Bluff Township Flood Mitigation Channel Construction||$396,490.46|
|Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council||Cherbourg Disaster Early Warning System||$289,940.91|
|City of Gold Coast||City of Gold Coast Severe Wind Strata Study and Industry Engagement||$200,000.00|
|Cloncurry Shire Council||Chinaman Creek Dam – Monitoring and Early Warning Systems Project||$150,000.00|
|Cloncurry Shire Council||Curry Kids Early Learning Centre – Emergency Generator||$49,449.00|
|Community Services Industry Alliance Ltd||Regional Disaster Ready||$531,924.00|
|Croydon Shire Council||Power supply security at 3 essential services for community resilience||$94,902.46|
|Department of Energy and Public Works||Household Resilience Program - Phase 3||$20,000,000.00|
|Department of Resources||State-wide Disaster Ready Imagery||$2,500,000.00|
|Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training||Small Business Disaster Hub - Upgrade||$110,000.00|
|Energy Queensland||South East Queensland Flood Resilience Program||$8,970,000.00|
|Gladstone Regional Council||Design and Construct Round Hill Reservoir 2||$4,249,904.55|
|Goondiwindi Regional Council||Upgrading existing stormwater outlets to gated outlets||$75,000.00|
|Griffith University||Private sector-driven managed retreat of at-risk settlements: An SEQ pilot||$600,000.00|
|Herbert River Improvement Trust||Reprofiling of Castorina Island, Lower Herbert River||$255,000.00|
|Isaac Regional Council||Flood warning infrastructure resilience upgrades||$376,500.00|
|Lockyer Valley Regional Council||Laidley Disaster Ready Project (Flood) – Phase 1||$2,070,092.00|
|Mackay Regional Council||Detailed Design – Training Wall Levee||$555,225.00|
|Moreton Bay Regional Council||Flinders Parade Cliffs Protection||$750,000.00|
|Moreton Bay Regional Council||Dohles Rocks (Griffin) Coastal Hazards Defence Business Case Development||$150,000.00|
|Moreton Bay Regional Council||Bray Park - Leone Street - Drainage Construction||$2,095,000.00|
|Moreton Bay Regional Council||Crockatt Park Seawall Renewal||$4,500,000.00|
|Mount Isa City Council||Solar Panels and Battery Storage for Disaster Resilience||$851,435.00|
|Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council||Drainage Investigations Lee Ding Street Catchment||$47,225.00|
|Noosa Shire Council||Noosa Shire Council’s Noosa Main Beach Sea Wall Detailed Design||$275,000.00|
|Noosa Shire Council||Generator Installations – Noosaville Depot, Tewantin Administration Building and Mobile Generator Unit||$98,453.00|
|Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council||Northern Peninsula Area Place of Refuge (Priority 2)||$1,381,000.00|
|Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council||Palm Island Cyclone Shelter (multi-purpose – community hall)||$240,000.00|
|Paroo Shire Council||Paroo Emergency Power||$222,625.00|
|Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council||Pormpuraaw Aerodrome Upgrade||$14,917,374.00|
|Queensland University of Technology||Landslide and dam stability risk reduction via multiscale site monitoring||$211,490.46|
|Redland City Council||Coastal Protection Works–Karragarra Esplanade Seawall–Karragarra Island||$173,455.00|
|Rockhampton Regional Council||Fitzroy River Barrage Raising Project Business Case Development||$685,000.00|
|Rockhampton Regional Council||Evacuation Centre Emergency Generator||$216,400.00|
|Rockhampton Regional Council||Advanced Communications Module on Disaster Dashboard||$16,000.00|
|Scenic Rim Regional Council||Detailed design of the reconstruction of Duck Creek Rd||$76,086.10|
|Scenic Rim Regional Council||Setting an urban greening target for the Scenic Rim||$111,000.00|
|Somerset Regional Council||Toogoolawah (Dingyarra St) flood mitigation project||$1,020,816.46|
|Sunshine Coast Council||New Seawall – Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation Project||$7,950,000.00|
|Sunshine Coast Council||Cool Urban Forests – Street Tree Planting Project||$3,210,000.00|
|The Bur-Del-Co-Operative Advancement Society Limited||The Burdekin Delta Community Disaster Shelters||$1,349,000.00|
|Townsville City Council||Tide Valve and Gate Study||$75,000.00|
The list of all successful projects across the nation is published on the National Emergency Management Australia (NEMA) website at:
The DRF will deliver against the recommendations of a Productivity Commission Inquiry into National Disaster Funding in 2015 providing up to $200 million per year on disaster resilience, with funding matched by states and territories. It is also supported by Deloitte’s 2022 report Adapting Australia for Climate Resilient Growth and the Insurance Council of Australia’s 2022 report Building a more resilient Australia, which have both called for increased investment in resilience and climate adaptation funding.
The DRF is given effect through the Emergency Response Fund Amendment (Disaster Ready Fund) Act 2022.
The DRF replaces the Emergency Response Fund, which terminates on 30 June 2023. The ERF committed $50 million per year for resilience building measures – the DRF will commit up to four times that amount – up to $200 million, per year and will help shift the Fund’s focus from recovery and repair to disaster prevention.
The DRF will complement, rather than duplicate, the recovery funding available under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) will collaborate closely with state and territory governments to deliver a set of locally-driven, but nationally significant, projects with states and territories expected to contribute 50 per cent towards the cost of projects.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
The Disaster Ready Fund (DRF) is the Australian Government’s flagship disaster resilience and risk reduction initiative. The DRF aims to help communities protect themselves against the devastating impacts of disasters by investing in important disaster resilience and risk reductions projects across Australia. From 2023-24, the DRF will provide up to $200 million per financial year over five years – up to $1 billion in total.
Specific objectives for Round One, 2023-24 of the DRF were:
- increase the understanding of natural hazard disaster impacts, as a first step towards reducing disaster impacts in the future;
- increase the resilience, adaptive capacity and/or preparedness of governments, community service organisations and affected communities to minimise the potential impact of natural hazards and avert disasters; and
- reduce the exposure to risk, harm and/or severity of a natural hazard’s impacts, including reducing the recovery burden for governments and vulnerable and/or affected communities.
The DRF replaces the Emergency Response Fund, which terminates on 30 June 2023, and will complement recovery funding available under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
In Queensland, the DRF Round One 2023-24 is administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) on behalf of the Australian Government.
Applications for Round One of the DRF opened on 10 January 2023 and closed on 6 March 2023. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) convened a panel to undertake a robust assessment of the applications in accordance with the DRF Round One Guidelines and provided recommendations to the Minister for Emergency Management for approval on successful projects.
The Hon Murray Watt, Minister for Emergency Management announced the successful projects on 7 June 2023.
Summary of the Assessment Process provided by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)
Applications were assessed via a robust and transparent process managed by the NEMA, in accordance with the published program Guidelines.
Key steps in the process were as follows:
NEMA undertook an initial eligibility check against requirements outlined in the Guidelines, and sought advice from relevant Commonwealth agencies on overlap with, or duplication of, other Australian Government-funded projects. Any concerns were referred to the Program Delegate for final decision. Ineligible applications did not proceed to assessment.
Eligible applications were then provided to an Assessment Panel for scoring. The Panel, chaired by NEMA, comprised independent experts and a probity adviser drawn from the Australian Government and private sector.
In assessing applications, the Panel considered the merits of each application against the three selection criteria:
Criteria 1. Project Details (weighted 40 per cent – i.e. scored out of 0 to 40)
Criteria 2. The likelihood of project success (weighted 30 per cent – i.e. scored out of 0 to 30)
Criteria 3. Alignment with existing plans and strategies (weighted 30 per cent – i.e. scored out of 0 to 30)
- This included specific consideration of:
- how well the project delivers against the DRF’s objectives;
whether the project provides value with relevant money, including but not limited to whether the project will prevent or mitigate the degree of impacts relating to cascading and systemic risks.
the extent to which the project aligns with the intent of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework’s (NDRRF);
the relative priority of the project for the Applicant (i.e. the ranking applied to the project by the state or territory government);
whether the project can commence quickly and is of tangible benefit to the community
the extent to which Applicants have consulted with, and have buy-in from, affected community stakeholders including relevant local government/s and First Nations communities; and
any national interest, financial, legal, regulatory, governance or other issue or risk that is identified during any due diligence processes conducted in respect of the project
- The Panel also considered:
- advice from relevant Commonwealth agencies
- baseline funding allocations in accordance with section 7.1 of the Guidelines, and
- equity with respect to the types of projects and the appropriateness of the geographic and thematic split of projects, in acknowledgement of the program’s national scope and its overall objectives in accordance with section 10.3 of the Guidelines.
This culminated in each application receiving an overall rating in accordance with the published rating matrix.
Score of 80 or above, out of 100 overall.
An excellent quality application addressing each of the selection criteria comprehensively. The case is clearly articulated with well-defined objectives and a strong data driven evidence base. Reliable and convincing evidence has been provided. Some risks may be present, but are minor and can be managed.
Score of 50 or above, up to less than 80 overall.
A satisfactory quality response with data and analysis that is reliable and relevant, addressing key information in the selection criteria. Logical reasons that indicate why the project will have a positive impact for identified communities. Some risks may be present, but are moderate and can be managed.
Score of less than 50 overall.
An unsatisfactory response with uncertainty as to the project’s feasibility, including inadequate links to the DRF’s Objectives and value for money considerations. May contain risks that prevent the project from succeeding.
- The Deputy Coordinator-General (by delegation from the Coordinator-General) endorsed funding recommendations to the responsible Minister, based on advice from the Assessment Panel. The responsible Minister for the DRF is Senator the Hon Murray Watt, Minister for Emergency Management.
- The Minister accepted the Panel’s recommendations in full.
In Queensland, 50 projects have been approved receiving more than $84 million in Commonwealth funding to support disaster risk reduction, including 40 projects for councils, three for state agencies, five for non-government organisations and two for universities.
A full list of successful projects can be found on the QRA website.
Summary of the outcomes provided by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)
Round One of the DRF was highly competitive with over 300 applications submitted and over $460 million in Commonwealth funding requested.
The quality and number of applications meant that unfortunately not every project was able to be funded from the Round One pool of $200 million.
On 7 June 2023, the Minister for Emergency Management announced 187 projects across Australia would share in $200 million of Commonwealth funds under Round One.
This funding will support a variety of projects aimed at reducing disaster risk and improving the resilience of Australian communities against a range of natural hazards such as bushfires, floods and tropical cyclones, and includes:
almost $65 million of Commonwealth investment for 74 infrastructure projects;
almost $84 million of Commonwealth investment for 74 systemic risk reduction projects; and
- over $51 million of Commonwealth investment for 39 projects that will deliver both infrastructure and systemic risk reduction outcomes.
A complete list of awarded projects is published on NEMA’s website.
Proponents who were unsuccessful in Round One may wish to consider re-applying in Round Two.
QRA are currently consulting with the Commonwealth on the overarching Federal Funding Agreement-Environment Schedule and the Audit and Reporting Framework that outlines the funding and reporting arrangements for the program.
After the Schedule and Audit and Reporting Framework have been finalised and signed by the State, QRA will be working with successful applicants to develop the statewide Implementation Plan covering all 50 successful projects in Queensland.
The Implementation Plan is to be developed within three months from the Schedule being signed and must be approved by the Commonwealth before any work can commence.
Once the implementation plan is approved, QRA will process the submission through MARS and provide applicants with a project funding agreement for signing.
This process can take 4-6 months from the date of announcement of successful projects, which was June 2023. Projects are unable to commence works until this has been completed and we appreciate your patience during this time. QRA will be in touch with further information as it is available.
Overarching feedback provided by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)
This feedback is provided to assist applicants and delivery partners to understand what, generally, comprised a strong application and the content of quality responses to the assessment criteria for Round One.
Successful applicants provided strong responses to the selection criteria and demonstrated their ability to meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the Guidelines.
Scores took into account the applicant’s responses, any supporting documentation provided, and the project size, complexity and amount of funding sought (e.g. larger, more complex projects were generally expected to provide more detail against each of criterion).
Further detail about what constituted a strong response to each criterion is provided below.
Criterion 1 - Project details (40%)
When addressing this criterion, strong applications clearly described the project, including how it would reduce the level(s) of disaster risk (exposure or vulnerability), deliver lasting benefits and enable adaptation to future climate and disaster impacts, and avoid and manage the potential for maladaptation (including any potentially negative social, environmental or economic outcomes).
Characteristics of strong responses to this criterion included:
well-defined and relevant project objectives (problem and solution), inputs (resources), outputs (activities) and outcomes (short, medium and long-term).
a detailed outline and comparison of level(s) of exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards in the geographic area that the project relates to, both prior to and upon conclusion of the project.
a clearly articulated and well-reasoned case that showed the potential impact of the project on the identified target area or group/s in terms of: (i) increased understanding of natural hazard disaster
impacts, (ii) increased resilience, adaptive capacity and/or preparedness, and/or (iii) reduced exposure to risk, harm and/or severity of a natural hazard’s impacts.
multiple sources of evidence (e.g. anecdotal reports combined with references to research data and/or expert advice) to support claims related to levels of disaster risk and expected project benefits.
a strong commitment to maintain the project benefits beyond the duration of program funding, and a credible explanation of how they would do this.
well-developed strategies for avoiding and managing potential maladaptation.
Criterion 2 - The likelihood of project success (30%)
When addressing this criterion, strong applications clearly demonstrated that the applicant team has the capacity, capability and resources to successfully deliver the project outcomes, including evidence of: capacity to complete the project in adherence with relevant industry and legislative standards; capability (including previous experience in undertaking similar scale projects) and confirmation of the ability to deliver the project within the agreed maximum three (3) year timeframe; and value for money.
Characteristics of strong responses to this criterion included:
a track record that demonstrated experience successfully managing a project of a similar size and scope.
a team (applicant and delivery partners) that possesses all the required skills and expertise to successfully achieve the target outcomes.
assumptions that were relevant, clear and reasonably detailed.
some risks, however none that weren’t relatively minor and which couldn’t be managed.
a Project Logic (plan) that was feasible and likely to achieve the intended outcomes taking into account the project inputs, outputs, duration, assumptions and risks, with only minor weaknesses.
a timeline/schedule for the project that provided a high level of confidence that the project could commence quickly and be completed within the project duration (3 years maximum).
an indicative budget that was appropriate for the size and scope of the project; any concerns (e.g. excessive claims) or gaps were minor.
a confirmed or in principle co-contribution of 50% (or strong case for a waiver).
a clear description of how project funds would be used to deliver the project outcomes.
Criterion 3 - Alignment with existing plans and strategies (30%)
When addressing this criterion, strong applications clearly demonstrated how the project aligns with existing plans and strategies.
Characteristics of strong responses to this criterion included:
a convincing explanation including key details regarding how and to what extent the project activities and intended outcome/s address one or more of the DRF’s objectives.
for projects with a place-based focus, a detailed description of stakeholder engagement activities that showed a reasonable breadth of consultation and support from relevant stakeholders such as local government and First Nations communities and how that support will be maintained throughout the project, together with at least one source of reliable evidence (e.g. endorsement from community group(s) or local council; outcomes from a community survey; community contributions to the project such as cash or in kind contributions; collaboration with other organisations within the area; or community participation in the project).
specific references to how the project is consistent with or supports relevant Commonwealth (e.g. National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework), state, territory or local government disaster risk reduction policies and/or risk assessments.
reasons for seeking funds through the DRF and not other potentially more appropriate sources (e.g. other relevant Commonwealth, state and territory grant programs, partnerships, investors, etc.).
Applicants and partners should refer to the Rating Matrix and general feedback provided above when interpreting these scores.
In the first instance, please contact your Regional Liaison Officer who can provide further information on your application and provide guidance on strengthening the application for future rounds.
Alternatively, you can also send an email to:
QRA is awaiting further advice from NEMA on when the next round of the DRF is scheduled to open. In the meantime, we encourage you to keep an eye out for available funding programs on the QRA website.