All Hazards Approach

The critical infrastructure owned and operated by local government will likely be exposed to many hazards during its lifetime and so it makes sense to manage risk holistically using an all-hazards approach. An all-hazards approach includes mitigating and planning for emergencies resulting from natural e.g. bushfire, storms, and floods, technological e.g. cyberattack and malicious e.g. sabotage or terrorism hazards. 
 
Adopting an all hazards approach puts the focus on the consequences of infrastructure disruption (e.g. loss of amenity to people, businesses and community), rather than the cause of the disruption.  This can provide a cost-effective solution as it means that specific risk treatment measures can be adjusted to address multiple foreseeable risks and also helps build resilience against unanticipated risks.
  
Local Governments across NSW must work to focus on proactive risk management measures to build resilience practices into business as usual. This requires careful proactive identification, consideration and treatment of the risks that critical infrastructure is exposed to and developing ways to mitigate against these risks.
 
There is significant guidance available to local governments on managing risk including the NSW Emergency Risk Management Framework (pdf) developed by the State Emergency Management Committee to  address gaps and disparities across the emergency management sector and improve decision-making, with a focus on disaster mitigation This framework is informed by the National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines (NERAG), which is consistent with the International Standard on Risk Management (ISO 31000). The State Level Emergency Risk Assessment (pdf) is also a useful source of information on hazards that can impact NSW.
 
Additionally, the Office of Emergency Management has initiated the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) for Local Governments. This program is funded for three years and aims to provide tools, resources and targeted risk and planning training to local government staff involved in emergency management. The program is currently in pilot with six NSW councils, but is intended to be rolled out statewide. Further information is available from the Office of Emergency Management.
 
Identification of local hazards is critical.  During the risk assessment process, it will be vital for local government to identify assets that are critical to Council’s operations and / or the community and the risks these assets or networks are likely to face.  The outcomes of critical infrastructure risk assessment should be reviewed on a multi-agency basis by members of the LEMC.  This will assist with ensuring that multiple perspectives are considered during the risk assessment process, that agencies have a shared understanding of the risks to critical infrastructure at a local level, and will also assist agencies with evaluating and prioritising resilience projects to ensure that mitigation investment achieves the best outcomes for the community.

Climate Change Risk 

Climate change predictions indicate that NSW will increasingly be affected by changes in temperature, rainfall, sea level and extreme weather conditions . Climate change will likely exacerbate the frequency and severity of natural hazard events, meaning that there will be more floods, storms, bush fires, heat waves and consequent flow-on impacts, such as power outages and transport and communications interruptions.
   
Almost all infrastructure is a multi-decade investment.  Local Governments are now planning and building the infrastructure that current and future generations will be using in 2050, in what will be a very different climate and a very different New South Wales7.  Therefore, local governments should consider the issue of sustainability and actively prepare for climate change by considering effective adaptation measures at the outset of any critical infrastructure project. This will help to integrate resilience to ensure critical infrastructure can continue operating as far as practicable and be returned to service as soon as possible following any service disruption both in the immediate future and in response to future climate risks.

AdaptNSW provides a wealth of information that can assist Local Governments to understand and adapt to climate change impacts including modelling, interactive maps, adaptation checklists, tools and case studies.

The Institute for Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) has developed a Practice Note (PN 12.1) entitled Climate Change Impacts on the Useful Life of Infrastructure. A complimentary e-book is available for all LGNSW.
 
Additionally, a case study on the Cross Dependency Initiative (XDI) which is a tool to quantify climate risk to infrastructure can be found in a separate topic specific resource on Interconnectedness that has been developed to support the implementation of the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy.

Sources of Funding

Local Governments derive their revenue from rates, grants, user fees and charges, interest and other sources and then use this revenue to deliver services and to develop and maintain infrastructure for their community.  Whilst opportunities may exist to improve infrastructure resilience through capital and operational works budget process, it is recognised that local government finances are under increasing stress from a number of competing demands.
 
Councils and infrastructure providers may already know what should be done to improve resilience but may be unable to fund these improvements internally.
 
This section of the Local Government User Resource identifies a number of funding sources that may be applicable for mitigating the risks to local government critical infrastructure. It should be noted that an application process with specific conditions applies and, in some cases, there may be a requirement for a co-contribution from Council.

​Funding Program

​Information

​Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP)
​The Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP) is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and NSW Government and aims to enhance the capacity of Australian communities to prepare for and withstand the effects of natural disasters.   The NDRP supports a wide range of activities including research and development, disaster risk assessments, physical works and engineering measures, community education and engagement programs and projects that support emergency management volunteers. $26.1 million is provided annually by the Commonwealth Government and matched by the NSW Government.
Councils are eligible to apply for funding under the:
 
For guidelines on eligibility, funding criteria and the grant application process please refer to the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.
​Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF)
​The $641.6 million Building Better Regions Fund is a competitive grants program that provides funding for infrastructure and community investment projects that will create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.

Enhancing infrastructure resilience clearly contributes to building stronger regional communities, that are more able to cope with natural as well as malicious threats and hazards, and also adapt to a changing climate.

Eligible applicants must apply during a funding round and applications are assessed against the merit criteria and other eligible applications in the funding round. 
​Safer Communities Fund: Infrastructure Grants – Australian Government
​The Safer Communities Fund provides grants of up to $1 million to community organisations and local governments for local crime prevention and security infrastructure activities.

Grants of up to $1 million will be available to fund up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs. Projects must be completed by 31 March 2020. 
​Bush Fire Risk Mitigation and Resilience Grants Programme
​The Bush Fire Risk Mitigation and Resilience Grants Programme (pdf) funding programme assists public land managers / owners to undertake bush fire mitigation works, to provide access for fire-fighting, and to support projects that increase the resilience of NSW communities to bush fire. The funding is available to supplement resources of public land managers/owners to enable additional works to be implemented. 
​Office of Responsible Gaming: Infrastructure Grants
​The Office of Responsible Gaming offers grants to communities across NSW to support the building, renovation and fit-out of infrastructure. Funding is available for arts and cultural infrastructure, sport and recreation infrastructure and projects that enhance facilities used to shelter communities and provide emergency services. Grants are available up to $300,000.
​Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR)
​The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal has a range of grant programs that occur throughout different times of the year. 
​Safe and Secure Water Program (SSWP)
The Safe and Secure Water Program (SSWP) is a $1 billion regional infrastructure co-funding program established in 2017 under the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Fund. The SSWP co-funds eligible water and sewerage projects that deliver economic growth in regional NSW through improvements to public health, water security, environmental outcomes and/or social benefits. Expressions of interest are invited from Councils. Priority is given to regional projects that involve one or more local government areas and cost v benefit analysis tools are provided.
Restart NSW
​The Restart NSW fund was established in 2011 by the State Government to enable infrastructure projects to be funded and delivered throughout NSW. As at June 2018, funds deposited into Restart NSW have totalled $32.9 billion. Restart NSW is the vehicle for the delivery of the Rebuilding NSW plan, which is the Government’s 10-year plan to invest in new infrastructure. Infrastructure NSW is responsible for assessing and recommending Restart NSW projects which improve the productivity and competitiveness of NSW across all sectors.  Restart NSW provides a number of funding programs in relation to infrastructure.