Across the country, we see drought, ever earlier bushfires, one in 500 year floods and more severe tropical cyclones with insurers, researchers and ex-fire chiefs warning of higher bushfire risks.
The Head of the Defence Force and the Department of Home Affairs have warned of the increased likelihood of climate-related natural disasters and their impact on our defence forces and future prosperity..
The case for action on climate change is overwhelming. This must involve serious steps to reduce our emissions, without hurting our standard of living.
But there is another practical step to reduce the impact of climate-related natural disasters - mitigation infrastructure.
Flood levees and sea walls, clearing firebreaks and raising dam walls. These will build resilience and limit the financial and emotional toll of future disasters.
In 2013, the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities released modelling, showing targeted investment in mitigation could reduce government expenditure on disaster response by 50% by 2050.
In 2015, the Productivity Commission reported 97% of disaster funding is spent on recovery and clean-up costs, with only 3% spent on mitigation. They recommended a major overhaul of disaster funding, in favour of mitigation.
By reducing the impact of disasters, mitigation would moderate insurance premiums crippling households and businesses.
The government ignores these calls. Its failure is negligent. We are left exposed to natural disasters and we all face large and growing clean-up bills.
The proposed new Emergency Response Fund acknowledges more mitigation spending, but only after a disaster hits. It is compounded by the funding source, which is to abolish the Education Investment Fund.
The Government's internal divisions are delaying real action on climate change. But even the most climate change denying zealot must accept, it makes enormous sense to invest in mitigation infrastructure to build resilience against future disasters.
It will reduce the cost of future disasters, moderate insurance premium increases and provide much needed jobs across our country. It's time for the Morrison Government to pull its head out of the sand.
Senator Murray Watt is the Shadow Minister for Northern Australia and Natural Disaster and Emergency Management