New climate report maps way forward in securing Australia’s social infrastructure

The Australian Council of Social Service today welcomed the release of the federal government’s Climate Adaptation Outlook, which presents a ‘National Adaptation Assessment Framework’ to assist governments, businesses and communities to assess national progress on climate change adaptation.

Critically, the framework identifies the ability of disadvantaged groups to manage climate risks as one of three priority outcomes for adaptation in Australia. It also incorporates findings from research recently published by ACOSS and Climate Risk about the critical but overlooked role community service organisations play in supporting these groups to manage climate risks.

“This is a major step forward in recognising the importance of a resilient community sector as a shield against the worsening impacts of extreme weather events on people experiencing poverty and disadvantage in our communities,” said ACOSS Deputy CEO Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine.

“ACOSS has long argued that the poorest members of our communities will be the worst affected by climate change and we’re pleased this has been fully factored into this report.

“For the first time, our research clearly demonstrated the devastating impact on individuals and communities caused by climate-driven disruptions to critical social infrastructure and services, including aged care and disability services, emergency relief and crisis accommodation. The importance of these findings is reflected in the emphasis placed on ensuring resilient community services, by the Government’s Climate Adaptation Outlook.” 

“ACOSS has also made a series of considered recommendations on ways to strengthen the community sector’s capacity to deal with these present and future challenges. First among these is the establishment of a Community Sector Adaptation Fund to support capacity and resilience building projects for community organisations and their clients.

“We welcome the opportunity to be involved in further consultations on the report as part of developing a much-needed comprehensive plan that will lock in the resilience of our communities and safeguard Australia’s social infrastructure,” Dr Boyd-Caine said.

Media Contact: Fernando de Freitas 0419 626 155

See ACOSS Research led by Dr Karl Mallon of Climate Risk, and funded by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF).

More information on ACOSS Climate Change research here.