The NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC)* will contribute $100,000 per year as a partner in the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), launched today, in recognition of the need for ongoing research into bushfires and the best way to prevent and manage them.
DEC is responsible for all national parks and reserves in NSW, containing almost six million hectares of some of the most fire-prone landscape in the world.
DEC Deputy Director General, Dr Tony Fleming, said the Bushfire CRC would provide a great opportunity to increase our knowledge of fire behaviour throughout Australia.
“After every fire season there is a great deal of debate in the community on fire management techniques – debate which is not always backed up by good science,” Dr Fleming said.
“The CRC will enable the best of Australia’s fire ecologists, scientists and land managers the opportunity to share information and take on more collaborative projects.
“Through the CRC we will learn more about how fire reacts in different situations, in different terrains and different vegetation types.
“This is crucial to fire management. Techniques which might be successful in say, the Jarrah forest of Western Australia will be mostly ineffective when practised in the Alpine vegetation of south-east New South Wales."
“Even within New South Wales the vegetation varies from arid desert to grasslands to coastal shrub to rainforest and the risk of fire is different in each case.”
Dr Fleming said all fire authorities and land management agencies in NSW are continually reviewing fire management practices in line with best research.
“If you look back through history you’ll find in NSW we have greatly improved fire management. We are losing fewer homes, burning less bushland and most importantly losing far fewer lives."
“To continue this trend we must learn from every fire season and conduct research into bushfire management and prevention so we are sure we are using the best methods possible to manage this potentially dangerous natural phenomenon. "
Media contact: Olivia Greentree 02 9995 5259
*NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is now part of the Department of Environment and Conservation.