Building Community Resilience to Natural Hazards in Northern Australia

Jacqueline Gould, Bevlyne Sithole, Andrew Campbell, Glenn James, Stephen Anthony Sutton

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


    Sparsely settled regions of northern Australia are extremely vulnerable to a range of annual natural hazard impacts, including those from cyclones, flooding and extensive fires. Outside of large towns, the majority of the population is Indigenous with limited access to infrastructure, or readily available institutional support for dealing with bushfires and natural hazards (BNH). Low population densities and poor communications mean that even relatively large communities have almost no formal emergency management capacity.

    Natural hazards are being amplified by climate change, with likely more and bigger fires, on-going sea level rise, potentially fewer but more destructive cyclones, and more days of severe heat stress, with consequent risks to economic productivity, infrastructure and human health and wellbeing. Improving community resilience to bushfire and natural hazards in the north is an evident priority and challenge; approaches that might apply in other regions of Australia are unlikely to work in the unique institutional, infrastructural, demographic, ecological and climatic contexts of the northern third of the continent.

    This paper explores potential pathways to improve community preparedness, response and recovery capabilities in remote Indigenous communities, and broader implications for public policy and government agencies in northern Australia, with reference to the research portfolio being developed in the northern hub of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. 

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings from the 2014 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC Conference
    PublisherBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015
    EventResearch Forum at the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference - Wellington, New Zealand
    Duration: 2 Sept 20142 Sept 2014


    ConferenceResearch Forum at the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference


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