QUEENSLANDERS impacted by natural disasters are turning to resilient home upgrades to help protect themselves against future weather events.
North Brisbane couple Elizabeth and Kevin Kriesch are among the first participants of the Queensland and Australian Government’s Resilient Homes Fund (RHF) program, signing up for flood-resilient upgrades.
RACQ Chief Executive Insurance Trent Sayers said the scheme’s resilience retrofit work was being delivered to eligible members through the insurance claims process.
“RACQ worked closely with the State Government to develop and roll out the RHF program, so it’s great to see the first homeowners start to come through the pilot phase,” Mr Sayers said.
“This is the best example you will find anywhere in Australia of government and insurers working together to make homes more disaster resilient.
“We live in the country’s most disaster-prone state and unfortunately, we know we’ll face more severe and frequent weather events.
“That’s why we’re helping our members impacted by last year’s devastating floods to upgrade their homes with more robust building designs and materials to help minimise damage as well as reduce the time it takes to repair and clean their property and return home should it be flooded again.
“While we can’t stop Mother Nature, we can better protect ourselves, and it’s through initiatives like the RHF that we will be able to make communities more resilient and reduce the financial and emotional impacts of natural disasters.”
Queensland Minister Mick de Brenni said almost 6,000 Queenslanders had signed up to the RHF program, with over 40% of those opting for resilience upgrades to their homes.
“The $741 million Resilient Homes Fund is not only the largest natural disaster rebuilding program in Australia since Cyclone Tracy in 1974, but also Australia’s largest ever climate adaptation program,” Minister de Brenni said.
“We will always stand shoulder to shoulder with Queenslanders when they are most in need, particularly off the back of those natural disasters we know all too well.
The Kriesch family said they were passionate about ensuring their home was more resilient for future generations which is why they applied for the RHF grant.
“We have lived in our north Brisbane home for 50 years and it’s never flooded before, so to see a metre of water through our ground floor last February was really distressing,” Ms Kriesch said.
“We are now incorporating flood-resilient changes to the lower level, including raising electrical circuits, and using waterproof walling, skirting, cupboards, doors and flooring,” he said.