Policy and Economics of Hazards


Economic impacts of fires
Economic impacts of fires

Project Status:

The project will develop decision support tools that enable the impact of different policy and planning options on various economic, environmental and/or social objectives to be assessed.

Disaster mitigation planning is characterised by the need to make decisions in an increasingly complex environment. This complexity comes in a number of forms, including (i) the need to make decisions by selecting from a very large number of options, making it difficult to know which is best, (ii) the need to consider multiple, often competing, objectives during decision-making processes to account for a range of social, economic and environmental criteria, (iii) a lack of clearly-defined, measurable criteria with which to assess the utility of decisions, and (iv) uncertainty in future conditions, data and information.

At the same time, community expectation in relation to the level of protection that can be provided against disasters is increasing. Consequently, there is increased scrutiny of the decisions made in relation to disaster mitigation, necessitating more transparency in the decisionmaking processes and the wise use of limited resources.

Decision-support tools that enable these goals to be achieved do not currently exist. Integrated modelling of underlying social, environmental, and economic systems is required to take into account system dynamics, and to explore the implications of future changes, such as changes in demographics, land use and climate.

The project is producing a framework for the development and use of a decision support system. The development aspects propose a generic framework for the integration of models to bridge the science-policy gap through a collaboration between scientists, endusers and IT specialists. The use process focuses on the application of the generic system to a region; in this project three case study locations are being considered in Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania.

On the Adelaide case study, one journal paper has been published with several others almost ready for submission. Three workshops have been held with end-users. A prototype decision support tool has been developed out of this case study, with similar tools in the early stage of development from the Melbourne and Tasmania case studies.

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 Report Riddell, G. et al. Futures Greater Adelaide 2050: An exploration of disaster risk and the future. (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 Newman, J. et al. Integrated Disaster Decision Support System Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
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 Report Newman, J., Maier, H., van Delden, H., Zecchin, A. & Dandy, G. Natural Hazard Mitigation Decision Support System Annual Report 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).
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:
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.

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