Australia to open disaster center in Jakarta

Just as I wrote the other day that the Australian government didn’t seem to be working much with Indonesia and now I read that Australia is working to create a disaster center in Jakarta.

The prime minister told reporters that a study by Australia and Indonesia found that half the world’s megacities are in locations vulnerable to earthquakes, and issues like climate change, urbanisation and poor land use were exacerbating the impact of other natural disasters.

“Also our region is subject to intense volcanic activity and now we see the consequence increase storm activity and with greater intensity,” Rudd told reporters. “With natural disasters, none of us can predict who will be the next victim, who will be hit next and often there is so little notice when they come.”

Australia has pledged to spend $67 million on the center over a period of five years. It is good to see the two governments co-operating on new projects. The center seems like a reasonable idea, but then you start to think that the money could be better spent in other areas, and even as Rudd says it is impossible to predict where or when the next disaster is going to happen.

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