Disaster risk and resilience the focus of new pilot project

Apr 8, 2024 | Media Release

A new pilot project led by Primary Producers SA and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions will help both industry and government better prepare for the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.

Through the Preparing primary industries for the impacts of compounding and complex disasters project, PPSA has engaged three of its commodity group members in the South Australian Forest Products Association, the South Australian Dairyfarmers’ Association, and the Wine Grape Council of SA to deliver the pilot.

Launched on Friday at the Limestone Coast Disaster Resilience Summit in Mt Gambier, the project will see SAFPA, SADA and WGCSA engage with producers and stakeholders to identify key natural disaster risks to each industry, what is required from both government and industry to reduce the impact of such events and how best to aid in recovery.

The primary outcome of the project will be an increased understanding of industries’ vulnerabilities and the commitment to shared responsibility between government and industry to address gaps.

PPSA CEO Caroline Rhodes said protecting SA’s $18.5 billion primary industries and agribusiness sector was a key driver of the project.

“Primary producers are on the frontline of climate change, facing an increasing number and severity of single natural disasters every year,” she said.

“There are numerous existing industry plans that identify disaster risks, but this project seeks to identify opportunities and gaps to assist industry and government to consolidate disaster risk reduction strategies and identify areas for shared action.

“Government and primary producers understand hazards and have experience dealing with single disaster events, however the impacts of compounding and cascading disasters which are increasingly likely to occur are less understood.”

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Clare Scriven said the South Australian Government was pleased to be partnering with PPSA and three of its commodity group members to deliver this important project.

“Reducing disaster risk in the primary industries sector is vital,” she said.

“This project will help us to understand the vulnerabilities of the entire supply chain and assist behaviour change.

“In the long term, this project is expected to enable agricultural industries and government to identify and implement appropriate strategies that mitigate risk to disasters, emergencies and effects of climate change.”

Ms Rhodes said the project will benefit all tiers of the forestry, dairy and wine grape sectors in SA and forge a path for similar projects in the grain, livestock, and horticulture sectors.

“The project will complement other resilience, risk reduction and sustainability work being undertaken by PPSA and South Australian commodity groups,” she said.

“Primary producers, people working in primary industries and rural communities will benefit from being better prepared for disasters, emergencies, crises, and adversity.

“In addition, emergency services and government at all levels will benefit from having people and communities more self-reliant and capable of meeting the challenges of disasters.”

This project received $770,000 through the Disaster Risk Reduction Grants Program through the Australian Government and the South Australian Government.

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