Research leader

Mehmet Ulubasoglu
Prof Mehmet Ulubasoglu Research Leader

End User representatives

Ed Pikusa End-Users
Mark Drew End-Users
Timothy McNaught End-Users
Julie Hoy End-Users

Research team

Farah Beaini Research Team

Natural disasters in Australia are very costly, and often have devastating socio-economic effects on impacted communities. With the severity and frequency from natural disasters set to increase, there is a need—now more than ever—for Australia to have a sustainable disaster recovery model that helps build resilience within Australian communities to such disasters.

Currently, a major research gap is the lack of estimates of the full economic impact of natural disasters covering all the affected households and sectors of the economy. For individuals and communities, a key dimension of disaster resilience is economic resilience, with income being an important buffer to disruptions caused by disaster shocks.

By incorporating real-life Australian natural disaster case studies, utilising a natural experimental design economic modelling, and confidential Australian Bureau of Statistics data on disaster hit individuals, this project aims to:

  1. estimate both the sector-disaggregated and demographic-specific economic impact of natural disasters on individuals’ income levels in Australia.
  2. equip policymakers with evidence-based research to optimise disaster recovery expenditure for individuals affected by natural disasters in Australia, and inform an evidence-based sustainable disaster recovery model in Australia.

The natural disasters case studies we investigate are of varying scales and types:

  • The Victorian Black Saturday Bushfires (2009)
  • The Queensland Floods (2010-11)
  • Cyclone Oswald (2013)
  • The Western Australian Toodyay fires (2009)
Year Type Citation
2018 Conference Paper Ulubasoglu, M. Disasters and economic resilience: income effects of the Black Saturday bushfires on disaster-hit individuals. AFAC18 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
2018 Conference Paper Bates, J. Research proceedings from the 2018 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2017 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
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 Conference Paper Ulubasoglu, M. & Rahman, M. Unpacking the sectoral income effects of natural disasters: evidence from the 2010-11 Queensland floods. AFAC17 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Report Ulubasoglu, M. Pre-disaster multi-hazard damage and economic loss estimation model: annual project report 2016-17. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2016 Report Ulubasoglu, M. & Rajabifard, A. Pre-disaster multi-hazard damage and economic loss estimation model: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Conference Paper Rahman, M. et al. Bringing hazard and economic modellers together: a spatial platform for damage and losses visualisation - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Rajabifard, A. et al. A Pre-Disaster Multi-Hazard Damage and Economic Loss Estimation Model 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 Report Rajabifard, A. Pre-Disaster Multi-Hazard and Economic Loss Estimation Model Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2015 Report Rajabifard, A. Pre-disaster multihazard damage and economic loss estimation model: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
A pre-disaster multi-hazard damage and economic loss estimation model for Australia
25 Aug 2014

Australia has experienced a number of natural disasters throughout history that have significantly impacted upon the economy. 

Key Topics
Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Buildings in Australia
18 Aug 2015

This poster present research activities undertaken in the University of Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology towards assessment of seismic vulnerability of buildings in Australia. The activities contributes to BHNCRC Project aimed to develop risk mitigation and retrofitting strategies for the most vulnerable Australian buildings subject to earthquakes.

Design & Implementation of pre-disaster hazard loss estimation platform
11 Sep 2015

The platform developed and utilised for this work is the Pre-disaster Hazard Loss Estimation Platform (PHiLEP). The PHiLEP platform is particularly suitable for this specific research purpose since it is devised to facilitate the decision making process in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) field by utilising a combination of spatial data management, disaster modelling, optimisation technologies and visualisation.

Effects of natural disasters on sectoral economic development: Evidence from Australia
11 Sep 2015

 Using a unique dataset observed over 1990-2014, we estimate the impact of natural disasters on sector-specific economic growth of Australia at both state and national levels

 Bringing hazard and economic modellers together
11 Sep 2015

 A paper on the use of a spatial platform for damage and loss visualization to bring together hazard and economic modellers

 Reviewing past hazard events in Australia and Victoria
11 Sep 2015

In order to better understand the history of natural disasters in Australia as a whole, and also solely in the state of Victoria, a review of the past hazard events data was conducted. The data was obtained from the Australian government website www.emknowledge.gov.au and includes events from the years 1857 to 2014.

Mehmet Ulubasoglu Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016

This project is investigating, at the national level, the economic impact of natural disasters on sectoral growth of the Australian economy. 

Elisa Lumantarna Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016

This poster introduces a rapid seismic assessment method for reinforced concrete buildings in regions of low to moderate seismicity such as Australia.

Disasters and economic resilience: Income effects of the Black Saturday Bushfires on disaster-hit individuals
18 Sep 2018

We explore the impact of the most destructive bushfire disaster ever to hit Australia on the disaster-hit individuals’ economic resilience. By analysing Australian 2006 and 2011 Census data, we determine whether their  income levels were able to recover post disaster, considering demographic factors and sectors of employment.