Reconstruction and recovery following disasters requires careful consideration and successful implementation. Recovery activities should minimise further disruption to the lives of the disaster-affected and enable the development of resilient communities. The term “build back better” (BBB) is commonly used to represent an ideal recovery process where physical, social and economic aspects of a community are simultaneously developed to a state of new normalcy which is more resilient than the pre-disaster setting. BBB also requires efficient and effective implementation of recovery activities to avoid excessive delays and ensure proper adoption of BBB-based approaches.
The United Nations and authors such as James Lee Witt Associates, Mora and Keipi and Ozcevik et al. reiterate that the use of disaster management-based legislation is necessary to build back better. The first section of this article introduces the principles required to build back better and legislative and regulatory policies recommended in existing literature to aid this. The 2009 Victorian Bushfires in Australia were chosen as a case study to further explore the legislative decisions made and their impacts on reconstruction.