Disaster Ready Fund

Submissions are now closed for Round One 2023 - 2024

Thank you to all applicants for their submissions.

The Australian Government has established the Disaster Ready Fund (DRF). The DRF will provide up to one billion dollars over the next five years, from 2023-24 to help communities protect themselves against the impacts of natural hazards across Australia.

The Northern Territory Emergency Service (NTES) is the lead agency coordinating the NT’s application under the $200 million DRF - Round One 2023-24.

NTES are responsible for submitting applications for the DRF on behalf of the NT. Any government or non-government organisation can apply for funding if the proposed project delivers benefit to the community.

There will be no limit on the amount of funding projects can apply for, but applicants must contribute 50 percent of the total project cost in cash or in-kind.

Selection criteria

The NTES will assess all projects against the selection criteria, outlined in Section 8 of the DRF Guidelines, available on the National Emergency Management Agency website.

Key dates

  • Applications close – 5pm Monday 20 February 2023
  • NTES advises project proponents of suitability under the NT application – Friday 3 March 2023
  • NT application submitted by NTES to the Australian Government - Monday 6 March 2023
  • NTES submits the Ministerial Endorsement to the Australian Government - Friday 17 March 2023
  • The Australian Government announces the outcome of Round 1 - from May 2023
  • Funding delivered for immediate commencement of successful projects – from 1 July 2023


What is the Disaster Ready Fund?

Established by the Australian Government, the Disaster Ready Fund (DRF) is a new fund developed to help communities protect themselves against the impacts of natural hazards across Australia.

How much is the fund providing?

The Australian Government is committed to provide the Disaster Ready Fund up to $1 billion over a period of five years, from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2028. Each financial year, up to $200 million will be made available to states and territories through the fund.

What is the purpose of the Disaster Ready Fund?

The Disaster Ready Fund provides investment in disaster mitigation infrastructure and systemic disaster risk reduction projects, to address any, or multiple, natural hazards including extreme weather events and geological hazards.

The primary objectives of the DRF are to:

  • increase the understanding of natural hazard disaster impacts, as a first step towards reducing disaster impacts in the future
  • increase the resilience, adaptive capacity and/or preparedness of governments, community service organisations and affected communities to minimise the potential impact of natural hazards and avert disasters
  • reduce the exposure to risk, harm and/or severity of a natural hazard’s impacts, including reducing the recovery burden for governments and vulnerable and/or affected communities.
Who can apply for funding and what projects are eligible?

Under the Australian Government guidelines, eligible project activities include two streams

Stream One: Infrastructure projects which are directed at achieving any or all of the following:

  • resilience to a future natural disaster that could affect an area (whether directly or indirectly)
  • preparedness for a future natural disaster that could affect an area (whether directly or indirectly)
  • reduction of the risk of a future natural disaster that could affect an area (whether directly or indirectly).


Stream One projects must fall into one or more of the following categories:

  1. Investment in grey infrastructure
  2. Investment in green-blue infrastructure (including nature based solutions)
  3. Investment in hazard monitoring infrastructure
  4. Business case development for future infrastructure (including investigation, modelling, concept and detailed design activities).

Stream Two: Systemic risk reduction projects that build the long term sustainability of a community or communities in an area that is at risk of being affected (whether directly or indirectly) by a future natural disaster.

Stream Two projects must fall into one or more of the following categories:

  1. Supporting a better understanding of risk, through a better evidence base to understand and raise awareness of risk – to improve understanding of natural hazards and their potential impacts over time (i.e. hazard mitigation plans and resilience strategies).
  2. Strengthening decision making by enhancing governance networks and communities of practice, including the development and/or alignment of resilience and risk reduction strategies.
  3. Adaptation projects that improve land use planning and development practice projects, including but not limited to the preparation of regional or local plans and updating land use planning instruments and building codes.
  4. Projects that build the capacity and capability of businesses, community sector organisations and/or at-risk communities to improve their preparedness and resilience to the impacts of future disasters.

Projects can encompass multiple eligible activities and target any, or multiple, natural hazards. Hazards include both extreme weather events and geological hazards.

Projects must be based in the Northern Territory with cross-jurisdictional projects to be significantly Northern Territory-based.

Project period

Projects must commence from 1 July 2023 with a maximum project period of three (3) years in accordance with the DRF Guidelines.

How will the mandatory 50 per cent co-contribution be funded?

The Australian Government requires minimum 50 per cent mandatory co-contributions for all Projects (whether financially or in-kind).

Under the Australian Government guidelines, Commonwealth funding from any source (including historical) cannot be used to cover the co-contribution, either fully or in-part.

Projects must provide written advice in the application form submitted to NTES, stating either:

  1. A confirmed (actual) co-contribution
  2. An in-principle co-contribution
  3. A request for a waiver or reduced co-contribution.

Under the Australian Government guidelines, funds that a project has already invested in a program or project on or any time after 1 July 2019 are eligible co-contributions (only where the Commonwealth’s contribution from the DRF is expected to extend or enhance that program or project subject to alignment with the DRF Objectives).

Requests for waivers or co-contribution reductions will only be considered by the Australian Government in rare and exceptional circumstances at the discretion of its Program Delegate.


For more information about the NT application for the Disaster Ready Fund – Round 1 please contact NTES at NTDRF@pfes.nt.gov.au