Pay for volunteer firefighters and disaster taxes on fossil fuel companies are among the "bold and ambitious" policies Australians want for dealing with climate emergencies, research reveals.
A poll by the Australia Institute think tank showed 85 per cent of Australians support better conditions for volunteer firefighters under the army reserves model.
Army reserves receive pay, tax incentives, medical support and employee protections, while working conditions vary across state and territory volunteer fire agencies.
The survey of 1002 people showed 90 per cent supported more funding for emergency equipment, and 83 per cent backed increased help for disaster-affected communities.
More than half of respondents - 52 per cent - supported a tax for fossil fuel companies to pay for climate disasters.
Matthew Ryan, a climate and energy researcher at the institute, said voters wanted significant changes in the face of worsening disasters.
"Our research shows the Labor government, as they're reviewing emergency management, really needs to be bold, they need to be ambitious," Dr Ryan told AAP.
"They need to take this seriously and not just go for the low-hanging fruit, but to look for serious structural change."
The home affairs department is reviewing emergency response capabilities, after a report found the defence force cannot be a domestic recovery agency while also protecting national interests.
The defence strategic review found the ADF should be the "force of last resort" for domestic aid.
The government's emergency management review discussion paper said 80 per cent of Australians had experienced some form of disaster since 2019.
There were damaging cyclones, floods and storms in every month of 2022, and the scale and intensity of disasters was set to worsen in coming decades.
"Australia also expects to face a future punctuated by more complex crises – particularly crises that occur at the same time or directly after one another," the document said.
But the number of volunteers has been declining since 2015 in a trend that could be compounded by higher costs of living, Dr Ryan said.
"If there's a bushfire in another state, and you're being asked to travel there for a week or two, a lot of people don't have access to paid leave when they take those deployments.
"If you're a small business owner or you run a farm, then that's material lost income that is a serious barrier to our capability for dealing with these big protracted fires."
Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt has previously said an army reserves model could be one way to enlist more firefighters.
Establishing a semi-professional model was another option, Senator Watt told ABC's Insiders in September.
"We are facing a difficult changing climate and we need to be ready and we need to think differently."