Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC - news from Interim Chair

A statement from Naomi Brown, Interim Chair, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.

On 13 February 2013, the Prime Minister announced the Federal Government will make a substantial investment in the establishment of a new Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.

Since the Prime Minister’s announcement an Implementation Team has been established and has commenced operation. The team comprises of Interim Chair Naomi Brown, Interim CEO Richard Thornton and personnel from Attorney-General’s Department, the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), Geoscience Australia, Victoria and NSW. The Implementation Team has been tasked with facilitating the establishment of the Centre in a short time frame, to enable the new operations to commence on 1 July, 2013.

A Governance Committee, comprised of nominated Jurisdictional representatives and AFAC, will provide guidance and advice to the Implementation Team on behalf of the Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee (ANZEMC), ensuring alignment to the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR).

The current focus of the Implementation Team is developing the processes and undertaking the activities required to establish the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, including:

  • creating the new Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC entity;
  • facilitating the developing the draft Research Agenda, and
  • preparing an operational strategy for the conduct of the new Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.

The Implementation Team is due to provide progress reporting to the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) by late March/early April 2013.

Central to the work of the new Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC will be the Research Agenda. A Workshop will be held in Melbourne on 25-26 March 2013 to begin to define the key challenges and the ‘problem statements’ that will inform that Agenda. Policy-makers and practitioners from all Australian jurisdictions have been invited to the Workshop to participate. Several hazard experts have also been invited to provide their technical expertise.

Joining the participants will be other invited representatives from key stakeholder groups, including AFAC, Insurance Council of Australia, Council of Ambulance Authorities, Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency, Red Cross, Bushfire CRC and the Australian Local Government Association.

The results of the Workshop will inform the production of a prospectus which will be used to solicit research proposals from across potential research organisations through a public call for submissions. It is anticipated the initial Research Program directions will be finalised by the end of May, 2013.

To assist keep people informed on progress an interim information website at www.aemi.edu.au/bnhcrc is being established by the Acting Secretariat at the Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) within the Attorney-General’s Department.

As an avenue to facilitate broader discussion and engagement, arrangements are also being made by AEMI to create an interim space on the Australian Emergency Management Knowledge Hub at www.emknowledge.gov.au for an online forum.

I look forward to keeping you up to date with developments as this exciting new Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC is established and up and running.

A copy of the full text of the Prime Minister’s February statement is available on the Prime Minister's website.

More information about the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC is available at www.aemi.edu.au/bnhcrc


Release date

Tue, 19/03/2013