Queensland to host United Nations disaster conference

Published Friday, 05 April, 2019 at 01:28 PM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Queensland’s expertise in disaster management, recovery and mitigation has been recognised by the United Nations with Brisbane to host the 2020 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland can be justifiably proud of its reputation for dealing with natural disasters.

“In my opinion, Queensland’s Disaster Management is world class,” the Premier said.

“It is a model of co-ordination, co-operation and response.

“This has repeatedly saved lives and if there are lessons we can learn – or teach – then that can only be a good thing.”

To be hosted at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the international conference will be jointly organised by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, in collaboration with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Australia's only stand-alone agency responsible for disaster recovery, resilience and mitigation policy, and the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The international conference, which will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 23-26 June 2020, will attract disaster experts from the Asia Pacific, including more than 2000 delegates from more than 50 countries.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the four-day conference would place the international spotlight on Queensland and bring together governments, businesses, researchers and non-government agencies to discuss action on reducing the humanitarian, economic and environmental costs of disasters.

“With experience managing more than 70 disaster events in the past decade, we look forward to sharing with the international community our challenges and success stories, as well as learning how they are managing disasters in other parts of the region,” Mr Dick said.

“This forum is also a chance for us to share the challenges we face in building resilience and learn from other countries facing similar challenges in our region.

“From drought and bushfires to flood and cyclones, Queensland is Australia’s most impacted state with a record 10 events activated for disaster funding assistance, just this summer. This underscores our need to continually invest in disaster preparedness and resilience to help save lives, minimise economic loss and enable communities to recover faster.

“This meeting of international experts provides an opportunity to remain at the cutting-edge of disaster preparedness, management and resilience building, and learn from global initiatives which will provide long-term benefits to people, households, businesses, schools and the wider community in disaster-impacted regions.

Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) Brendan Moon said the forum would provide a broad understanding of the implementation issues at the heart of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, to which Australia is a signatory.

“This United Nations framework aims to substantially reduce disaster risk and loss in lives and livelihoods for people, businesses, communities and countries. It takes a holistic approach to disaster and considers impacts on health, economies, environments and social and cultural wellbeing,” Mr Moon said.


Media contact: Lesley Major 0419 288 284