Abbott to launch inquiry into natural disaster funding

A WIDE-RANGING inquiry will be launched into Australia's natural disaster funding systems, the Abbott government announced on Monday.

The Productivity Commission inquiry will examine the sustainability and effectiveness of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, among other issues.

At its centre will be a focus on risk management efforts taken by property owners, potential changes to improve disaster recovery arrangements and new mitigation models.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the inquiry already had the backing of state and territory governments and the local government sector.

He said in the past five years, more than 200 lives were lost and $12 billion have been spent on recovery and re-building after the succession of floods and fires across the nation.

The inquiry will soon start seeking public submissions from state governments, councils, property and the insurance sectors as well as the general public affected by disasters.

It is due to hand down a draft report in September this year before releasing final recommendations to the government by the end of the year.