Disaster funding plans ready but kept under wraps

REGIONAL councils and state governments affected by natural disasters may be forced to wait until April before they know the Abbott government's plans for disaster funding.

Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan this week confirmed he had received the Productivity Commission's final report on its inquiry into disaster funding arrangements.

But the controversial report, originally due for completion at the start of December, will not be released until parliament resumes next year.

The report earlier this year recommended cutting Commonwealth recovery funding and allocating mitigation funding on a per capita basis, rather than directing funding to areas most affected by floods, fires and cyclones.

Mr Keenan said the government would respond "in due course". But the deadline requires only that the report be tabled in parliament within 25 sitting days, meaning the nation may not know the outcomes of the lengthy inquiry until after the May budget.

Mr Keenan said the government was "carefully considering" the report.



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