Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from ACM, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's is written by ACM south-east Queensland editor Craig Thomson Natural disasters cost money, everyone no matter how they vote, understands that. What has made news this week, though, which sadly is ideological, is how the Emergency Response Fund money should be spent, or if it should be spent at all. In the last term of the federal government, it set aside $4 billion for the Emergency Response Fund. They claimed the money would be invested, and the interest on that investment used to provide hundreds of millions of dollars a year to mitigate future disasters and respond to current ones. That investment had returned approximately a billion dollars at the end of last year. One Billion Dollars. That's your money. As of publishing, only $150 million had been set aside for disaster-mitigation projects and much less actually spent. It seems the Morrison Government is treating the fund as a significant investment rather than taxpayer money that should be spent on taxpayers. Labor says the money should be spent now on those who need it and should have already been spent on flood mitigation for those same areas. The government is setting up a 'Labor spends like drunken sailors', verse the 'Liberals and Nationals are prudent with your money' argument. If one thing should not be about ideology or cheap political spot scoring, it should be natural disasters. The fund is taxpayer money to spend on taxpayers. 'Saving' it or running the line that government budgets are like a household budget and the disaster fund money should be saved is bollocks. No matter how you vote, that should be clear. Household budgets last the lifetime of the household, governments are ongoing, it lasts forever and should transcend through progressive and conservative times. Saving money to build up for a rainy day is a disingenuous argument when the rainy day is here and now and indeed was predicted to be so. So it seems we have a truckload of money set aside for disaster recovery, but the people affected aren't getting much of it. They also didn't get much of it for preparedness either. That seems cruel and mean to me. So, maybe how such funds are spent does depend on who you vote for, that's also mean and cruel, and it doesn't have to be. It shouldn't be, but this will be an election issue, sadly. In case you are interested in filtering all the latest down to just one late afternoon read, why not sign up for The Informer newsletter?