More needs to be done to stop billions being sucked into dealing with extreme weather events driven by climate change, a group of councillors says.
Seventeen mayors and councillors from NSW and Queensland have issued a joint statement, calling on the federal government to reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels and invest in clean industries.
Among them are councillors from the bushfire-ravaged Bega Valley and Eurobodalla shires.
Simon Richardson, the mayor of Byron Shire, where storm swell has washed away swathes of coastline in recent months, also lent his voice to the statement.
"Extreme weather disasters used to occur every few years. Now, we are facing them every few months," it reads.
"Heavy rain, gale-force winds, storm surges and flooding are damaging our communities, endangering our residents and costing us millions of dollars in clean-up costs."
"Schools and businesses have been forced to close, the lights have gone out, roads cut off, beaches washed away and properties damaged."
"We are exhausted by the immediate costs and challenges, and we are worried about what's to come."
Climate Council researcher Simon Bradshaw says they are right to be worried, with the cost of extreme weather events predicted to rise astronomically.
"Extreme weather has cost our national economy at least $35 billion over the past decade," Dr Bradshaw said.
"By 2038, the price tag of climate impacts could climb to $100 billion a year."
Australian Associated Press