The Emergency Response Fund (ERF) was established on the commencement of the Emergency Response Fund Act 2019 (ERF Act), on 12 December 2019. On establishment, the ERF was credited with the uncommitted balance of the Education Investment Fund, which was closed on commencement of the legislation.
The ERF allows the Government to draw up to $200 million in any given year, beyond what is already available to fund emergency response and natural disaster recovery and preparedness, where it determines the existing recovery and resilience-building programs are insufficient to provide an appropriate response to natural disasters.
The ERF Act will give effect to the following:
- Investment Mandate: the responsible Ministers will be required to issue at least one investment mandate to the Future Fund Board of Guardians (Future Fund Board).
- Crediting amounts to the ERF: the responsible Ministers may, by writing, credit the ERF Special Account with a specified amount or with specified instalments.
- Debiting amounts from the ERF: from 2019-2020, the Finance Minister will be able to authorise disbursements (debits) from the ERF subject to the following limits:
- $150 million available each financial year to fund to fund emergency response and recovery following natural disasters in Australia that have a significant or catastrophic impact; and
- $50 million each financial year to build resilience to, prepare for or reduce the risk of future natural disasters, and build the long-term sustainability of communities that are at risk of being affected by a future natural disaster.
The responsible Ministers must give the Future Fund Board at least one written direction about the performance of the ERF investment functions. Before formally issuing an investment mandate direction, the responsible Ministers must invite the Future Fund Board to make a submission on the draft investment mandate. Should there be a submission, it is tabled together with the investment mandate in both Houses of the Parliament.
Investment Performance and Financials
Information on the investment performance and financials of the ERF is not yet available.