Student researcher

Catherine Ryland Research Leader

The planning system is currently designed to ensure that bushfire protection is provided at development approval stage. Beyond development approval there is no mechanism, be it regulation or incentive, for residents to continue to maintain that bushfire protection. This is a failure of compliance and enforcement which has been shown repeatedly to be a significant factor in house loss during bushfire events. Inquiries and Royal Commissions have listed compliance as a recommended action and yet, to date, this problem has not been tackled. 

This research will determine the different options which exist for providing a compliance/enforcement program to address this significant gap in bushfire protection. Importantly, the research will discover whether there are certain ways to design developments and bushfire protection measures which advantageously play to the strengths of human behaviour, therefore removing the need for thought in undertaking bushfire protection. Thus, bushfire protection becomes a day-to-day habit, rather than a significant exercise. In doing this, the study will determine whether design can top regulation in the long term maintenance of bushfire protection measures.