$4M new funding for bushfire research

New Federal funding of $4.05M will flow to the Bushfire CRC over the next three years as part of the Federal Government’s initial response to national bushfire inquiries. The funds are being provided for the CRC to undertake research on fire effects in alpine areas and to increase communication with communities in areas affected by the fires of recent years.

Welcoming the news of the funding, Chief Executive Kevin O’Loughlin said that the disastrous 2003 fires emphasised the value and importance of the Bushfire CRC’s research program, but it was clear that the community now wanted the answers more quickly on some of the research issues.

“This new money will be of great value to the Bushfire CRC, and will help us expand and accelerate our research in some important areas relating to fire in the high country, as well as communicate more effectively with communities on our research program,” Kevin said.

”Improving our understanding of the effects of bushfires on the high country requires an holistic approach that looks at alpine and sub-alpine areas and addresses issues such as water, soils, weeds, ecological outcomes, as well as grazing”.

The accelerated community communications work will include community meetings and the development of information resources that assist scientific aspects of bushfires and their effects.

The Bushfire CRC which began operations in 2003 with strong support the Commonwealth and State governments has Australian and New Zealand fire, land management, universities a number of Commonwealth agencies as its partners. Its multi-disciplinary research program is looking at:

• bushfire behaviour including aerial suppression techniques;

• fire in the landscape, especially hazard reduction burning;

• improved partnership with communities to make them more self sufficient;

• better ways to protect people and property; and

• strengthening Australia’s future bushfire research capability and the benefits to fire and land management agencies.

The Bushfire CRC’s work will be presented at a joint conference of the Bushfire CRC and Australasian Fire Authorities Council in Perth 7-9 October 2004.

For more information:

Kevin O’Loughlin, Chief Executive Officer 0418101602

Derek McCormack, 03 9412 9602

Release date

Wed, 10/11/2004