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Dr Paul Barnes
Project Leader


Dr Barnes is Deputy Director of QUT’s Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management (CEDM) and he leads the Centre’s Infrastructure Program.   He has wide experience in public sector and specialist management roles at both the State and Federal level.  Within the emergency services arena, he was the inaugural Manager of the State Community Safety Unit of the Queensland Fire & Rescue Authority (QFRA) where he coordinated research on emergency response infrastructure and resource planning, oversaw policy and legislative support for regulatory fire safety & fire prevention, as well as provided executive coordination of Workplace Health & Safety for first responders.  Advice provision also included safety and risk assessment requirements for large-scale developments (including major hazardous facilities) with emphasis on Emergency Response Planning.  During his period with the QFRA, he chaired the National Community Education Sub-Group of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council. As Corporate Risk Manager of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries (QDPI), he oversaw development of Corporate Standards and governance framework covering risk management, crisis management and business continuity planning, as well as waste and environmental management.  He also represented the Department on a number of high-level working groups related to critical infrastructure protection and the development of whole-of-government (QLD) capacities in crisis management, including biosecurity. Before joining QUT he was Director of Security Policy development within the Defence Security Authority, Canberra.  In this role he coordinated activities supporting Defence Department outcomes related to security risk management, security policy development and physical security of Defence installations.
Research Interests
  • Risk & disaster management
  • Business continuity management,
  • National-level risk assessment
More info:

Project leadership

This study will examine in-depth lessons from historical emergencies and disasters by engaging with state and federal response agencies, as well as those supporting response and recovery, and local government.
Research team:

Posters credited

Capability needs for emergency and disaster management organisations

Understanding future capability needs for response and recovery agencies and allied government agencies, with standing in the oversight of emergency and disaster response, are relatively un-addressed or where the relevant issues have been examined, remain incomplete. 

Network Centric Emergency Management: Options for Filling a Strategic Void in Interoperability Thinking

The Problem: Traditional emergency management approaches are linear and siloed and not agile enough to meet today's complex and dynamic environment. Organisations endeavour to become interoperable, however with the current thinking, this simply moves the solution from one silo to another. A strategic void exists within interoperability thinking and without collaborative innovation and a network centric approach, emergency management practices will continue to lack the agility and capability to respond and recover effectively from dynamic and evolving threats.

Key Topics:

All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

Where, why and how are Australians dying in floods?

2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook