Research leader

Holger Maier
Prof Holger Maier Research Leader

Research team

Graeme Riddell
Graeme Riddell Research Team
Aaron Zecchin Research Team
Graeme Dandy Research Team
Andreas Schafer Research Team
James Daniell Research Team
Roel Vanhout Research Team
Dr Sofanit Araya Research Team
Jeff Newman
Jeff Newman Research Team

End User representatives

Ed Pikusa End-User
Alen Slijepcevic
Murray Carter End-User
Sandra Whight
Sandra Whight End-User
Liz Connell
Liz Connell End-User
Mal Cronstedt End-User
Mike Wouters
Mike Wouters End-User
Luke Roberts End-User
Monique Blason End-User
Brenton Keen End-User
Rolf Fenner End-User
Holly Foster
Holly Foster End-User

Student researchers

Charles Newland
Dr Charles Newland Student Reseacher
Graeme Riddell
Graeme Riddell Student Reseacher

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.

Year Type Citation
2019 Journal Article Riddell, G., van Delden, H., Maier, H. & Zecchin, A. Exploratory scenario analysis for disaster risk reduction: Considering alternative pathways in disaster risk assessment. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (2019). doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101230
2019 Report van Delden, H. et al. UNHaRMED framework report: a co-creation approach for the development and use of decision support systems for disaster risk reduction. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
2018 Conference Paper Riddell, G. et al. Applying unharmed for risk reduction planning – comparing strategies and long-term effectiveness. 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).
2018 Journal Article Riddell, G., van Delden, H., Dandy, G., Zecchin, A. & Maier, H. Enhancing the policy relevance of exploratory scenarios: generic approach and application to disaster risk reduction. Futures 99, 1-15 (2018).
2018 Report Riddell, G., van Delden, H. & Maier, H. Urbanisation pressures and flood risk: Gawler River catchment and regional development. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
2018 Report Maier, H. et al. Improved decision support for natural hazard risk reduction: annual project report 2017-18. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
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).
Date Title Download Key Topics
27 Mar 2014 Decision support system for assessment of policy and planning investment options for optimal natural hazard mitigation PDF icon 634.1 KB (634.1 KB) decision making, economics
08 Sep 2014 Natural hazard decision support system PDF icon 3.21 MB (3.21 MB) decision making, mitigation
27 Oct 2014 Integrated disaster decision support system decision making, policy
10 Apr 2015 Natural Hazard Decision Support System 2015 NSW RAF Presentation PDF icon 3.28 MB (3.28 MB) decision making, planning, policy
11 Sep 2015 Natural Hazard Decision Support System PDF icon 3.3 MB (3.3 MB) decision making
17 May 2016 Spatial decision support system for natural hazard risk reduction policy assessment and planning PDF icon 15.12 MB (15.12 MB) decision making, planning, policy
08 Aug 2016 Fire Australia Winter 2016 PDF icon 5.53 MB (5.53 MB) communication, economics, modelling
10 Aug 2016 Graeme Riddell - 2016 Progress Report PDF icon 77.22 KB (77.22 KB) decision making
30 Aug 2016 A spatial decision support system for natural hazard risk reduction policy assessment and planning - Holger Maier PDF icon 5.83 MB (5.83 MB) decision making, economics, mitigation
27 Oct 2016 Economics and strategic decisions - cluster overview File 0 bytes (0 bytes) decision making, economics, policy
15 Dec 2016 What can economics offer emergency services? PDF icon 891.78 KB (891.78 KB) decision making, economics, policy
18 Apr 2017 Spatial Decision Support System for Natural Hazard Risk Reduction Policy Assessment and Planning PDF icon 5.87 MB (5.87 MB) decision making, multi-hazard, optimisation
25 May 2017 Planning for the future: prioritising mitigation options and improving risk reduction PDF icon 262.21 KB (262.21 KB) decision making, economics, mitigation
07 Jul 2017 Understanding the value and challenges of risk mitigation PDF icon 4.17 MB (4.17 MB) economics, mitigation, resilience
07 Jul 2017 Decision support system for optimal natural hazard mitigation - Alen Slijepcevic File 0 bytes (0 bytes) decision making, multi-hazard, optimisation
17 Apr 2018 Decision Support System for Assessment of Policy and Planning Investment Options PDF icon 3.1 MB (3.1 MB) decision making, emergency management, mitigation
26 Aug 2018 A spatial decision support system for natural hazard risk reduction policy assessment and planning: Holger Maier lecture File 0 bytes (0 bytes) decision making, risk management
18 Sep 2018 Applying UNHaRMED for risk reduction planning – Comparing strategies and long-term effectiveness. PDF icon 4.44 MB (4.44 MB) mitigation, planning
26 Nov 2018 Improved decision support for natural hazard mitigation PDF icon 1.53 MB (1.53 MB) decision making, preparedness
09 Jul 2019 Accounting for society’s influence on future disaster risk and how to develop proactive risk management strategies through integrated dynamic risk assessments PDF icon 2.89 MB (2.89 MB) economics, emergency management, planning
27 Aug 2019 Future risk framework: Understanding tomorrow’s risk and what we can do to reduce it PDF icon 2.88 MB (2.88 MB) decision making, multi-hazard
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...
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.
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...
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...
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...
Developing a Decision Support System for Western Australia
18 Sep 2018
UNHaRMED (Unified Natural Hazard Risk Mitigation Exploratory Decision support system) is an interactive...
27 Aug 2019
TWO DRIVING PRINCIPLESPrevention is better than cure - “Better to build a fence at the top of a cliff, than...

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