The onerous process for states to access federal disaster recovery funding needs to be streamlined so more support can reach communities, the Tasmanian government says.
Other states and territories also want the disaster recovery funding arrangements improved and simplified to help governments respond more quickly after events like the recent bushfires.
Tasmania says the requirements for states to be reimbursed under the jointly-funded DRFA are onerous, time-consuming and require significant resourcing.
"We would hope that we could get to the most streamlined as possible arrangements with the Commonwealth because we simply do not have the staff that we can put towards liaison across agencies," Department of Premier and Cabinet secretary Jenny Gale said on Thursday.
Better processes would enable the Tasmanian government to spend their resources on the emergencies and recovery, rather than on "resources to work to an architecture that does not necessarily suit each jurisdiction in the same way", she said.
Tasmania's state recovery adviser Craig Limkin said the processes were complex, lengthy and involved a mountain of paperwork.
"The more complex the process to talk to people and collaborate, the worse outcome it is for a community," he told the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements on Thursday.
A review is underway into the DRFA to determine whether the arrangements can be streamlined and how the funding can be better used to make damaged infrastructure more resilient, as has occurred in Queensland.
The review will also look at whether the assistance under the program, which is jointly funded by the Commonwealth, states and territories, is fair and equitable regardless of where people live.
Northern Territory emergency recovery director Len Darragh said the assistance differed across borders, noting Queensland had different grants and subsidies available after a monsoon trough caused widespread flooding in that state last year.
"When we had our people that were affected, when they were looking across the border and trying to do a comparison against other states ... it kind of raises eyebrows in terms of 'why aren't we able to access such grants and subsidies'," he said.
Tasmania argued the administrative burden of establishing a case for co-funding to rebuild assets to more resilient standards after disasters was particularly onerous.
"The time that it takes, particularly for small jurisdictions, to meet the requirements is the time that a bridge could be rebuilt and it could be rebuilt better," Ms Gale said.
"It's really (about) what we can deal with as a jurisdiction but more importantly, the impact that those kinds of processes have on the community."
Mr Limkin said the prime minister had to approve betterment funding, which took time and caused delays.
The inquiry was told recovery efforts in the states and territories after the bushfires and other recent natural disasters have been compounded by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Australian Associated Press