May 2009

Created date

Friday, May 1, 2009 - 9:00pm
  • Federal Budget – delivers $15m
  • New CRC bid faces tough competition
  • Senate Bushfire Inquiry 
  • Royal Commission calls on Bushfire CRC
  • Canberra science festival


Budget delivers funds for bushfire research

This week, the Federal Budget provided some welcome news with the allocation of $15 million to the Bushfire CRC. The funding is for three years from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2013 and is an outcome of Senate discussions over the economic stimulus package earlier this year.

This is a positive step towards securing ongoing funding for a national bushfire research centre and an endorsement of our current activities. However, we are still focused on gaining longer term funding so our bid for $50 million over eight years from the Australian Government’s CRC Program remains alive.


New CRC progresses to next round

Two weeks ago we received word that our bid for a new CRC for Fire – Environment and Society had been invited to proceed to the second round of the CRC funding assessment process.

This is great news for all who have supported the bid for an ongoing national fire research centre over recent years. It appears we are in the middle of a highly competitive bidding round, being only one of 14 applicants to get to the second stage, with many others missing out entirely and now contemplating either winding up or seeking alternative funding sources.

Our proposed research program will now undergo a thorough scientific review by relevant experts and this will be followed by a formal face-to-face interview in late June/early July.


Royal Commission

The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission has begun in earnest with many Bushfire CRC stakeholders and researchers in demand for their evidence and analysis.

A great deal Bushfire CRC research is being called upon to assist the Royal Commission with its deliberations and this will continue over the coming months. We can take this as an endorsement of the Bushfire CRC as a research centre that can produce reliable, relevant and accessible scientific research. You can watch Royal Commission proceedings live at:


Senate bushfire inquiry

The Australian Senate has just announced an inquiry into bushfires.  (See Senate Hansard, 12 May 2009.)

The inquiry will be undertaken by the Senate select committee on agricultural and related industries, which is chaired by Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan.

Among other things, it will look at the incidence and severity of bushfires across Australia, including the impact on humans, animals, agricultural land, the environment, public and private assets and local communities.

This inquiry will no doubt increase the workload of many Bushfire CRC stakeholders and researchers. But on a positive note, it means that bushfires will remain in the political spotlight while the bid process for the new CRC continues.

We await more details on the terms of reference and timelines for the inquiry.


Canberra – Science Innovation Festival

A further reminder to my last email newsletter -the Bushfire CRC is participating in the Australian Science Festival alongside the annual CRC Innovations Conference in Canberra in late May. These two events under the one roof are an excellent opportunity for us to showcase Bushfire CRC research to a wide scientific, political and general audience. We are using this to promote bushfire science to schools, the general public, and to invited parliamentarians, and department and embassy staff. If you are in Canberra in the week from 26 May please drop in to the Bushfire CRC expo stand at the National Convention Centre.

More information at the Festival website