The 2009 Victorian Bushfires catalysed reforms in the emergency management sector including a shift to community-led approaches to planning and decision-making. Reforms identified that building resilient communities is important in preparing for and responding to emergencies. The reforms acknowledge that economic vitality and strong social systems underpin local responses to emergencies and disruptions.
The role of economic recovery in ‘building back better’1 has been demonstrated since 2009. The last two decades has also seen increasing frequency and costs of natural disasters and large-scale events. The total economic cost of natural disasters is forecast to grow by 3.4 per cent per year, reaching $39 billion per year by 2050 in present value terms2. The forecast does not consider the impact of climate change, nor the costs of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Positive economic recovery outcomes in emergency management can be strengthened through a place-based approach. Place matters because of variations in economic performance between locations and differences in the strength of local social systems. Responding to economic and social diversity – particularly at a time of rapid or acute economic transition – is critical to delivering the state government’s economic reform and growth objectives. Local economy transitions can quickly create new opportunities, alternatively it can lead to long-term unemployment, reduced workforce participation and entrenched disadvantage in communities. Where structural adjustment is beyond the capacity of the local economy and community to adapt, government assistance may be required to address distributional and equity concerns.
The economic recovery practice framework aims to guide practitioners to develop and implement economic recovery interventions that:
- increase local resilience to future disasters and shocks, and
- improve targeting and consistency of government support and actions for economic recovery.
The focus is to support economies, businesses and industries in the event of a natural disaster or significant disruption to the economy.
The economic recovery practice framework, summarised below, consists of:
- policy principles that should be considered in developing economic recovery actions
- economic recovery stages
- areas that government can support and stimulate economic recovery
- planning guidance to make the most of local strengths and long-term outcomes
- outlines implementation steps to aid decision-making, delivery and evaluation.
Economic Recovery Practice Framework
Support Victorians affected by economic shocks through:
- Recovery actions that will increase local resilience to future disasters and shocks, and
- Improving targeting and consistency of government support and actions for economic recovery
Government support and action for economic recovery must consider:
- Market failure: Intervention is required where market failures exist or market capacity is exceeded.
- Economic vitality: Economic activity underpins economic and community recovery.
- Community-led action: Community strengths and assets need to be acknowledged and built upon.
Economic recovery starts immediately after response and relief actions, planning for recovery starts during response and relief.
|Response and relief||Stage one: Stabilisation||Stage two: Stimulus||Stage three: Productivity and resilience|
|Managing immediate impacts||Managing short-term impacts to ensure business survival (0-3 months)||Stimulus to support recovery to a self-sufficient and sustainable 'new normal' (3 - 12 months)||Future-proofing against economic shocks and longer-term transitions (> 12 months)|
Government can support and stimulate economic activity areas.
|Industry and business||Employment||Community resilience||Enabling infrastructure|
|Supporting industry to survive and thrive in the future economy||Supporting people through jobs and skills||Communities drive the development of the future economy, underpinned by strong community cohesion||Strategic economy-wide investments and supports to underpin recovery and development|
Economic recovery planning must work with local strengths and optimise actions for long-term outcomes.
- Coordinated and complementary
- Strategic and targeted
Coordinated and orderly implementation provides transparent decision-making, delivery and opportunity to learn from evaluating actions.
- Impact identification and analysis
- Design and implementation
- Monitoring and evaluation
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) prepared this economic recovery practice framework following significant cross-portfolio consultation. Elements of the framework have been applied to 2019-20 bushfire recovery and COVID-19 recovery considerations. This framework will continue to build community resilience and deliver on the expectations of the Victorian Government through the emergency management reform agenda.
1 The Department of Global Communications, 2020. United Nations. [Online] Available at: https://www.un.org/en/un-coronavirus-communications-team/un-urges-count… [Accessed 05 May 2020].
2 Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities, 2017. Building Resilience to Natural Disasters in our States and Territories, prepared by Deloitte Access Economics. Available at: http://australianbusinessroundtable.com.au/assets/documents/ABR_buildin… [Accessed 07 November 2020].