Planning and Bushfire Risk in a Changing Climate: Urban and Regional Planning Systems Final Report

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TitlePlanning and Bushfire Risk in a Changing Climate: Urban and Regional Planning Systems Final Report
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsNorman, B, Weir, J, Sullivan, K, Lavis, J
ISBN Number978-0-9925027-8-2
AbstractThis report presents the research findings on planning and fire risk as one component of a three-year research project “to identify legal, urban and regional planning and policy and administrative structures and processes to enhance integration of fire and emergency management imperative across policy sectors, agencies and portfolios, that is mainstreaming”. The focus of this report by the University of Canberra is on the role of urban and regional planning in relation to fire risk and emergency management. The research approach included a significant literature review, including the major fire inquiries within Australia, and focus groups in four jurisdictions (ACT, NSW, Victoria and NT). Capacity building through education is also considered. In addition, several presentations have been made to end-users during the course of this research to obtain very valuable feedback. This included a panel discussion with the Planning Institute of Australia involving leading professionals at the National Planning Conference 2013, Canberra. The outcome of the research is a deeper understanding on the contribution of urban and regional planning to managing fire risk throughout Australia. Differing perceptions of fire and various planning responses by States and Territories provide a rich policy environment for the emergency management sector to work with. Added to this complexity are expanding urban areas from Darwin to Melbourne and the challenges of continuing urban development in Australian coastal regions that are already experiencing environmental change and predictions of an even hotter environment and an increased potential for fire risk. A key finding that emerges is the need for a more integrated approach to planning for fire risk that better connects planners with emergency management and those involved in assessing risk.