Bushfires, floods, cyclones and monsoon troughs were all on the agenda during a visit by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford to the national Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC) in Melbourne.
Mr Crawford, who was accompanied by QFES Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing, said it was a timely opportunity to discuss the natural disasters that had hit Queensland in the past few months and to catch up on the latest research happening at the centre.
“The centre is working on a range of research projects that Queensland will be able to take advantage of, including fire prediction, community safety and recovery, volunteer management and strategic planning,” he said.
“We’ve been having these conversations for a long time now and I wanted to get some idea of what they think is happening around the country in areas such as climate change and the way that fires, floods and other natural events are being managed.”
The Minister and Mr Wassing also visited Emergency Management Victoria’s state operations centre, met with chief officers from the Country Fire Authority, and sat down with Forest Fire Management Victoria’s chief officer.
Mr Crawford said it was important to continue to learn from Queensland’s natural disasters and to work with organisations such as the research centre and the CFA.
“The big take-home message for me was that we can no longer think of these events as one-ofs or have an expectation that there’ll be a return to business as usual,” he said.
“This could well be business as usual.”
Mr Wassing said the support of the BNHCRC for QFES during Queensland’s heightened bushfire activity was terrific and he was looking forward to future work.
“QFES has multiple, on-going projects with the BNHCRC to shape how we work best with the community in the future so it was great to have the opportunity to meet and discuss these,” Mr Wassing said.
“We talked at length about the findings from BNHCRC’s work into fire prediction, severe weather, community recovery and volunteerism, which are important areas for QFES.
“BNHCRC’s work aligns with QFES’ goals and will continue to play an important role as we look to the future of disaster management.”
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford