Student researcher

Prananda Navitas Research Leader

Bushfire mitigation and management are likely to become more significant with climate change increasingly threatening and the continued spread of urban and suburban growth in Australia. Unlike other natural hazards, bushfires can be foreseen, prevented and combated to a certain degree to minimise their risk and impact. Land use planning is widely acknowledged as an important means of reducing the community's vulnerability to natural hazards. Land use policies and programs offer a diverse set of strategies for management of bushfire hazard risk. Understanding the extent to which urban planning affects bushfire risk exposure is key to preventing loss of life and helping local governments avoid potential financial liabilities and litigation risks. 

The South East Queensland (SEQ) region is home to 70% of Queensland's population and is the fastest growing region in Australia. Most of the local government areas in SEQ are over 50% bushfire-prone area. This research focuses on the integration of hazard mitigation and land use planning, seeking to achieve three objectives. First, this research examines forms of knowledge used in decisions affecting policy and planning for urban development in South East Queensland. Second, it assesses how current building standards are integrated into state and local government planning, and their effectiveness in mitigating bushfires. Finally, this research aims to develop an integrated framework for action to improve land use planning, development standards and the built environment decision making system to better manage risk and improve community disaster resilience.