Planning for the future
As 2012 ends, most of our research projects are producing solid outputs in the final stages of their three year funding. By July next year, Australian Government funding for national fire research will stop, but good financial management has left us with a budget to last well into 2014 to see that the research is properly taken up by all our partners. The challenge now is to find new money for new research.
This time last year we were in the midst of several major reviews by the Australian Government’s CRC Program. By April, the Performance Review was complete and we had passed with flying colours. As we move towards securing our long term future such an endorsement of what we do and how we do it is invaluable. Importantly, the Review provided solid advice on how we can best set up an ongoing research centre.
We are still getting the full details on the recent Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management announcement to apply for a Disaster Resilience CRC. This bid would most likely be in the next round, which means after the long competitive process, winners would be announced in December 2013 and the first dollars would flow in July 2014. That leaves a full 12 months from the end of our CRC federal funding until new funding comes in, which by no means is ever guaranteed.
The Bushfire CRC is planning for a bigger and bolder future, with a broader funding base that would keep the momentum from the current research program going. We are talking with AFAC and the wider industry, universities and with other parts of the Federal Government on that.
I trust things will become clearer in the New Year. Either way, the Board is focused on what our partners have long wanted - an ongoing future for national fire research.
On behalf of the Board and the staff at your Bushfire CRC, thank you to all of you in the wider Bushfire CRC community for your superb efforts over the past year.
My very best wishes to you and your family for a happy Christmas and a safe and successful New Year.
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