End User representatives
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.
Building on the evaluation of risk: incorporating the evolution of hazard risk over time with dynamic modelling of exposure.
Land use policies hold the greatest long-term risk reduction potential but are under-utilised.
We have developed a decision support system with potential to transform planning for risk reduction in Australia.
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 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.
|Mapping and understanding bushfire and natural hazard vulnerability and risks at the institutional scale||Prof Roger Jones||Victoria University|
|Optimising post-disaster recovery interventions in Australia||Prof Mehmet Ulubasoglu||Deakin University|
|Economics of natural hazards||Dr Veronique Florec||University of Western Australia|
|Policies, institutions and governance||A/Prof Michael Eburn||Australian National University|
|Scientific diversity and uncertainty in risk mitigation policy and planning||Dr Jessica Weir||Western Sydney University|
|Cost-effective mitigation strategy for building related earthquake risk||Prof Michael Griffith||University of Adelaide|
|Cost-effective mitigation strategy for flood prone buildings||Dr Tariq Maqsood||Geoscience Australia|
|Natural hazard exposure information modelling framework||Dr Krishna Nadimpalli||Geoscience Australia|
|Improving the resilience of existing housing to severe wind events||Prof John Ginger||James Cook University|
|An analysis of building losses and human fatalities from natural disasters||Dr Katharine Haynes||Macquarie University|
|Using realistic disaster scenario analysis to understand natural hazard impacts and emergency management requirements||Dr Thomas Loridan||Macquarie University|