Policy and Economics of Hazards

Blue-Mountains-fires-2013.jpg

Economic impacts of fires
Economic impacts of fires

Project Status:

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.

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.

A case study for Adelaide and surrounding regions is now complete, while case studies for Melbourne and surrounding regions, along with Tasmania, are well developed. An additional case study in Western Australia is in the process of being scoped out.

Taking into account future changes in demographics, land use, economics and climate, the modelling will be able to analyse areas of risk both now and into the future, test risk reduction options, identify mitigation portfolios that provide the best outcomes for a given budget, and consider single or multiple types of risk reduction options, such as land use planning, structural measures and community education.

The results for greater Adelaide highlighted the variability in regional risk based on variability of the drivers into the future. They also showed the importance of effective planning of new regional developments to ensure a safer future. It is hoped that more integration of this scenario work can build strategic capacity across agencies in the understanding of future risk.

CRC partners, along with local governments, have been engaged in the entire process, from direction on the hazards to include and feedback on process, to advice on how the modelling will be used when complete and by whom.

The approach taken through this project is the only study that compares different natural hazards and their mitigation options, while also taking into account long term planning. The ultimate aim is to develop a decision support framework and software system that is sufficiently flexible to be applied to large and small cities around Australia, helping planners from local councils through to state treasury departments answer the vital question on mitigation options that balance cost and impact: ‘what is the best option for us?’ Training materials will be developed, along with courses for end-users to enable ongoing use of the system.

This project is an outstanding example of the collaborative process that the CRC is all about, and incorporates findings from other CRC work on recognising non-financial benefits of management and policy for natural hazards, for example, the economic, social and environmental benefits of prescribed burning, the vulnerability of buildings to hazards, such as how they can be made more resilient through cost-effective retro-fitting for improved safety, and the benefits and understanding of community resilience efforts like improved warnings, community engagement, education, volunteering and community resilience.

Post fire field work
17 November, 2017
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Parliament House, Canberra
20 October, 2017
Key Commonwealth Government representatives were briefed by Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC researchers recently in Canberra.
Ed Pikusa and Holger Maier receive their outstanding achievement award from Dr Richard Thornton.
18 September, 2017
A cluster team and PhD student have been recognised with CRC awards at AFAC17 powered by INTERSCHUTZ, the CRC's annual conference held in collaboration with AFAC in Sydney recently.
CRC sign
13 September, 2017
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Fire risk sign near Margaret River.
27 June, 2017
A new case study of bushfire, earthquake and coastal inundation will take place in Western Australia thanks to funding through the Commonwealth Government's Natural Disaster Resilience Program.
The NSW Rural Fire Service and Tasmania Fire Service fighting the Tasmanian fires in early 2016. Photo: Mick Reynolds, NSW RFS
15 February, 2017
‘What if?’ scenario modelling by the CRC 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.
8 February, 2017
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Flood hazard
16 November, 2016
The latest videos featuring CRC researchers, PhD students and end-users explaining our science and the benefits it will bring are now online.
AJEM October 2016 cover
26 October, 2016
Many peer-reviewed papers from the AFAC16 powered by INTERSCHUTZ Research Forum have been published in a special edition of the Australian Journal of Emergency Management.
16 August, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Flooding in Brisbane after ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald in January 2013. Shutterstock.com
9 August, 2016
If we want to reduce both the risk and cost of natural disasters, we first need to understand the economics of mitigation. New national research on integrated planning is showing us how.
Fire Australia cover winter 2016
9 August, 2016
The Winter 2016 edition of Fire Australia magazine highlights important research including reducing hazard impacts with smarter spending, better integrating wind uncertainty into fire modelling and the rewarding experience a PhD student had on a recent agency placement.
Holger Maier presents at the 2016 Hobart RAF
24 June, 2016
A number of insights around who dies in floods, mitigation benefits, estimating resilience and economics were key takeways for me from the Research Advisory Forum in Hobart.
Past and present CRC PhD students in Hobart.
20 May, 2016
I recently attended both the Research Advisory Forum and the student development workshop - the biggest take away for me was just how important dialogue is.
15 April, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Tweet from the Christmas 2015 floods in the UK.
11 February, 2016
In the engineering world we are often met with questions around risk mitigation, especially when it relates to the rising risk of flooding and coastal inundation.
Economic impacts of fires
14 December, 2015
When I was first asked to be involved in the Decision support system project I was skeptical, but I am now really excited at the prospect of what the project might deliver.
Shane Turner of SA Dept Planning, Transport & Infrastructure and Erin Labadas of SA Dept Education & Child Development getting involved at a project workshop.
11 December, 2015
October and November this year provided an exciting couple of months for the Decision support system project.
Park closure due to bushfire NSW 2013
17 June, 2014
More projects have begun to actively communicate their work to a broader audience with a University of Adelaide based team starting up a blog.
Year Type Citation
2017 Conference Paper Riddell, G. et al. Multi-hazard mitigation planning, combining modelling, scenarios and optimisation: results from South Australia. AFAC17 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2017 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2017 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Journal Article Newman, J. et al. Review of literature on decision support systems for natural hazard risk reduction: current status and future research directions. Environmental Modelling & Software 96, 378-409 (2017).
2017 Report Riddell, G. et al. Futures Greater Adelaide 2050: An exploration of disaster risk and the future. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Report Maier, H. et al. Improved decision support for natural hazard risk reduction: annual project report 2016-17. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2016 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2016 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2016 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Conference Paper Riddell, G. et al. A spatial decision support system for natural hazard risk reduction policy assessment and planning. AFAC16 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Journal Article Maier, H. et al. An uncertain future, deep uncertainty, scenarios, robustness and adaptation: How do they fit together?. Environmental Modelling & Software 81, 154-164 (2016).
2016 Report Maier, H. et al. Natural hazard mitigation decision support system: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2015 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Newman, J. et al. A decision support framework for multi-hazard mitigation planning - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Newman, J. et al. Integrated Disaster Decision Support System Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Report Maier, H. et al. Natural hazard mitigation decision support system: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Report Newman, J., Maier, H., van Delden, H., Zecchin, A. & Dandy, G. Natural Hazard Mitigation Decision Support System Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2014 Report Newman, J. et al. Literature Review on Decision Support Systems for Optimising Long-term Natural Hazard Mitigation Policy and Project Portfolios. (2014).
Understanding How Dynamic Exposure Affects Risk by Using a Land Use Model
18 Aug 2015

Building on the evaluation of risk: incorporating the evolution of hazard risk over time with dynamic modelling of exposure.

Key Topics:
Download:
Including Land Value in Hazard Mitigation Planning
18 Aug 2015

Land use policies hold the greatest long-term risk reduction potential but are under-utilised.

Key Topics:
Hedwig van Delden Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016

We have developed a decision support system with potential to transform planning for risk reduction in Australia.

Tomorrow’s disasters - foresight principles, risk assessment and treatment
29 Jun 2017

When plans have an over-reliance on what happened in the past, the risk is that one misses the potential for a future that is different, unseen, and unimaginable. Hindsight, learning the lessons of the past, is necessary, but planning should be driven also by imagination and foresight. Are we planning for the next fire? Or are we planning for the next 'firestorm'? What do we think that will look like? In this setting, the greatest failure may well be the failure to imagine.

UNHaRMED: Unified Natural Hazard Risk Mitigation Exploratory Decision Support System
29 Jun 2017

UNHaRMED is a spatial decision support system (DSS) for planners and policy makers to assist in the reduction of risk from multiple natural hazards, transforming planning risk reduction in Australia.

Research clusters

Explore by keyword