Lead end user
This project is seeking a 2-year postdoctoral fellow in spatial analysis and modelling working on disaster risk reduction planning. For more information and to apply, please click here.
What if an earthquake hit central Adelaide? A major flood on the Yarra River through Melbourne? A bushfire on the slopes of Mount Wellington over Hobart?
‘What if?’ scenario modelling through this project is helping government, planning authorities and emergency service agencies think through the costs and consequences of various options on preparing for major disasters on their infrastructure and natural environments and how these might change into the future.
The research is based on the premise that to reduce both the risk and cost of natural disasters, an integrated approach is needed to consider multiple hazards and a range of mitigation options.
There is a significant knowledge deficit concerning how science and other forms of knowledge are used and integrated into emergency management policy and practice, leading to incorrect and counterproductive misunderstandings. The emphasis on the value of scientific knowledge within the natural hazards sector – and particularly in regards to risk mitigation – is legitimate. However, to this point, this valuing of science has not been accompanied by research into the actual opportunities and challenges of using science in policy and practice.
This project, which has transitioned to its utilisation phase, has produced a number of journal articles documenting issues related to scientific uncertainty in bushfire and flood risk mitigation.
This study has informed community flood warning campaigns, emergency services training and national policy initiatives by investigating the circumstances of all flood fatalities in Australia from 1900 to 2015. It has also compare the impacts of disasters from more than 100 years ago with more recent events.
By exploring the socio-demographic and environmental factors surrounding the 1,859 flood fatalities over 115 years, the research found distinct trends in relation to gender, age, activity and the circumstances of the death. These trends were analysed in the context of changes to emergency management policy and practice over time.
Current government spending on natural disaster response is more than 20 times the spending on preparedness. Many climate-related natural hazards are increasing, along with the number of people living in hazard-prone areas. Large natural disasters also cross domains, moving from the private to the public realm, and shifting from a local, to a state or national concern. This raises the potential of future, unmanaged risks.
This project, now in its utilisation phase, mapped a broad range of economic, social and environmental values and related them to natural hazards across several case studies. It explored who owns these values and what happens when they cross domains, as well as how a range of alternative strategies may contribute to improved resilience by sustaining economic, social and environmental values in a changing environment.
Catastrophic events are cascading in nature, escalating in their impacts as interconnected essential services fail, causing further impacts and making the recovery more complex and prolonged. Events may not respect borders or boundaries, resulting in unclear accountabilities amongst responding agencies, and conflicting strategies and public messaging as different jurisdictions respond.
This study commenced in July 2017, and aims to better understand the nature of catastrophe and identify ways to improve management approaches in the Australian context.
|2015||Conference Paper||Integrated Disaster Decision Support System Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).|
|2015||Conference Paper||A decision support framework for multi-hazard mitigation planning - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).|
|Presentation-Audio-Video||27 Oct 2016||Economics and strategic decisions - cluster overview||Save (0 bytes)||decision making, economics, policy|
|Presentation-Slideshow||07 Jul 2017||Understanding the value and challenges of risk mitigation||Save (4.17 MB)||economics, mitigation, resilience|
|Presentation-Audio-Video||02 Aug 2017||Panel: Getting value from research investment - Showcase 2017||emergency management, optimisation, resilience|