Fire authorities and planners: reducing risk across diverse landscapes

This is a paper presented at the 2013 Bushfire CRC Research Forum.

Bushfire risk mitigation measures have become increasingly integrated into the responsibilities held by planning professionals, and this is indicative of a broader trend of emergency management responsibilities being formally adopted by other sectors. This paper considers how the integration of bushfire risk into urban and regional planning is being grappled with across four landscapes and jurisdictions in Australia. The paper draws on four focus groups held between fire authorities and planners in the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory. The research reveals the common challenges of this work, and instances where innovation is occurring between fire authorities and planners. However, it remains that there is no straightforward ‘planning solution’ for reducing bushfire risk.