Australian Bushfire Prevention

This project has three broad integrated objectives that aim to reduce the occurrence of bushfire arson.

MSSI supports a large research program around the prevention of bushfire. This work has taken on greater urgency in the context of rising temperatures and climate change, and the growing number of devastating bushfires.

The current research clusters around two major projects. The first is an Australian Research Council grant to examine malicious ignition of bushfires, led by Janet Stanley. This work has also been supported by Crime Stoppers Victoria. Research has been undertaken with Crime Stoppers to better understand how to improve voluntary reporting of suspicious behaviour around fires. Work with the Victorian Police examined the behaviour and characteristics of people most likely to maliciously light another bushfire.

The second project research project, on Integrated Urban Planning for Natural Hazard Mitigation, funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Bushfire and Natural Hazards, is led by Alan March. It aims to better understand the limits and potentials of integrating urban planning for natural hazard mitigation with emergency planning in Australia.

PhD candidate, Belinda Young, is researching the viability of social media based ‘shared responsibility’ in relation to the prevention of wildfires in Victoria and California. PhD candidate, Maria Constanza Gonzalez Mathiesen, is comparing an urban planning approach to the establishment of resilience to bushfires in Chile and Australia.

All projects take an interdisciplinary approach and have developed strong links with government, services, business and the wider community. An integrated governance approach with policy implications, frames the work. On-going research is planned on the prevention of bushfires in the future through a wider, systemic approach to prevention, that adopts a full range of prevention activities, involving a much broader involvement of society.

Publications

Stanley, J.R., March, A. Ogloff, J., & Thompson, J. (2020 in press) The Prevention of Wildfire: International Best Practice, Vernon Press, Delaware, USA.

Stanley, J.R. (2020 in press) Climate Change: A New Challenge for Social Policy, in McClelland, A. & Smyth, P (eds) Social Policy in Australia: Understanding for Action, 4th ed. Oxford University Press, Australia.

Stanley, J. (2020 in press) Preventing Rural Arson, in Harkness, A. & Smith, N. (eds.) Rural Crime Prevention: Theory, Tactics and Techniques, Routledge.

Spencer, M. & Stanley, J. (2020 in press) Addressing global water crises: Understanding business drivers for cluster water stewardship projects, in (eds.) Davis, C. & Rosenblum, E. Sustainable Use of Water by Industry: Perspectives, Incentives, and Tools, London, International Water Association Publishing

Stanley, J. (2020) How a failure in social justice is leading to higher risks of bushfire events, In A. Lukasiewicz and C. Baldwin, Natural Hazards and Disaster Justice: How Australia rises to the challenge of a disaster-laden future, Palgrave Macmillan.

March, A., Nogueira de Moraes, Stanley, J. (2020) Dimensions of risk justice and resilience: mapping urban planning's role between individual versus collective rights, In A. Lukasiewicz and C. Baldwin, Natural Hazards and Disaster Justice: How Australia rises to the challenge of a disaster-laden future, Palgrave Macmillan.

Gonzalez-Mathiesen, C., March, A., & Stanley, J. (2019). Challenges for wildfire-prone urban-rural interfaces: The case of Melbourne, Urbano, 22(39), 88-105. https://doi.org/10.22320/07183607.2019.22.39.05

Stanley, J. & March, A. (2019) Black Saturday: Urban sprawl and climate change remain key dangers, PURSUIT, University of Melbourne, 5 February.

March, A., Stanley, J. & Gonzalez-Mathiesen (2019) Black Saturday: Bushfire planning as our population grows, PURSUIT, University of Melbourne, 5 February.

March, A., Nogueira de Moraes, L., Riddell, G. A., Stanley, J., van Delden, H., Beilin, R., Maier, H. (2018). Integrated Urban Planning for Natural Hazard Mitigation, https://www.bnhcrc.com.au/file/8951/download?token=u4pNzrhc

March, A., Nogueira de Moraes, L., Riddell, G., Dovers, S., Stanley, J., van Delden, H., Beilin, R., Maier, H. (2018) Australian Inquiries into Natural Hazard Events: Recommendations Relating to Urban Planning for Natural Hazard Mitigation (2009-2017), University of Melbourne, The University of Adelaide, Australian National University.

Read, P. and Stanley, J. (2018) Preventing bushfires through community reporting to Crime Stoppers: 2017 survey, sixth report to Crime Stoppers Victoria, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne.

Read, P. & Stanley, J. (2017) Community Attitudes Towards Reporting Bushfire Arson to Crime Stoppers Victoria 2012-2015, Crime Stoppers Victoria, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne.

Stanley, J. (2017) Equity in Recovery, in A. March, & M. Kornakova (Eds.) Urban Planning for Disaster Recovery, pp. 31-46, Elsevier, UK

Stanley, J. & Read, P. (2016) Current and Future Directions for the Place of Community in the Prevention of Bushfire Arson. In R. Doley, G. Dickens & T. Gannon (eds) The psychology of Arson A Practical Guide to Understanding and Managing Deliberate Firesetters, Psychology Press and Routledge Academic.

Stanley, J. (2016) Adaptation in small coastal towns in Australia, in J. Knieling (ed) Climate Adaptation Governance – Theory, Concepts and Praxis in Cities and Regions, Wiley UK.

Stanley, J.R. (2014) Climate Change: A New Challenge for Social Policy, in McClelland, A. & Smyth, P (eds) Social Policy in Australia: Understanding for Action, 3rd ed. Oxford University Press, Australia.

Stanley J., Birrell B., Brain P., Carey M., Duffy M., Ferraro S., Fisher S., Griggs D., Hall A., Kestin T., Macmillan C., Manning I., Martin H., Rapson V., Spencer M., Stanley C., Steffen W., Symmons M., Wright W. (2013) What Would a Climate-Adapted Settlement Look Like in 2030? A Case Study of Inverloch and Sandy Point, report for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast.

Griggs, D., Carey, M., Curtis, J., Kestin, T., Rigby. K. Stanley, J., Thwaites, J., Wallis, P., Ward, M. (2013), Workshop on valuing adaptation, 11-12 December 2012, MSI, Melbourne.

Stanley, J. (2013) Proposal tips scales on the Peninsula, Nature’s Voice, no. 17, Victorian National Parks Association, August.

Research team

A/Prof Janet Stanley
Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute

Prof Alan March
University of Melbourne

Dr Leonardo Nogueira de Moraes
University of Melbourne

Prof Ruth Beilin
University of Melbourne

Dr Jason Thompson
University of Melbourne

Maria Constanza Gonzalez Mathiesen
PhD Candidate, School of Design

Prof James Ogloff
Swinburne University

Prof Holger Maier
University of Adelaide

Dr Graeme Riddell
University of Adelaide

Adjunct Professor Hedwig van Delden
University of Adelaide

Prof Stephen Dovers
Australian National University

Belinda Young,
PhD Candidate, MSSI