7 August 2009
Created dateFriday, August 7, 2009 - 9:00pm
CRC Rebid fails
We have been advised by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research that we have been unsuccessful in obtaining funds in this Round of the CRC Program for the CRC for Fire – Environment and Society.
We have been given some good advice by the Department that we should not make an application in the next round of CRC funding, which closes next week (14 August). However, we are being encouraged to make an application next year (date yet to be announced).
I believe this is sound advice for two reasons.
- The Bushfire CRC has already been given $15m from the Australian Government in the last Budget and we always anticipated this would be an issue for us in this round given the limited funds for the CRC Program and the strong competition. That funding is for three years from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2013 to look into issues relevant to the Black Saturday fires in Victoria this year.
- We have also received advice from the Department that the Minister is interested in looking at the outcomes of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission before committing to further bushfire research funding. The Royal Commission Final Report is due for completion by 31 July next year.
These two issues have led us to consider waiting till next year to apply for more CRC funds. There will now be much industry discussion on a range of options for future funding. We will also be seeking to meet with the Federal Minister to explore options.
Last Thursday, we held a meeting with members of the Bushfire CRC Board, and key members of the AFAC Committee of Management and the National Aerial Firefighting Centre.
The view expressed at this meeting was that, if unsuccessful in this CRC Round, with four years of funding still available to us we should commence the research program of the new CRC immediately.
This needs further discussion and ratification by the Governing Board of the Bushfire CRC but leaves no doubt that a national bushfire research program continues and has secure funding to 2013.
Whilst today’s announcement is disappointing, I believe we are well placed to progress the preparation for next year’s round to secure ongoing, long-term funding.
The media release of Senator Carr’s announcement of the successful bids from the Round 11 CRC Selection process may be found at
The Bushfire CRC will keep you all informed on developments as best we can.
Len Foster AO