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The Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon. Francis Logan MLA, during his opening speech at ANHMC10.


Australasian Natural Hazards Management Conference​ proves to be an outstanding success


5 December 2017

The 10th Australasian Natural Hazards Management Conference (ANHMC10), which was hosted by the Office of Emergency Management​ (OEM), has been deemed a resounding success. ​ANHMC10 brought together emergency management (EM) expertise from Australia, New Zealand and beyond to enable the sharing of knowledge and strengthen collaboration.

ANMCH10 took place in Perth from October 30 to November 3 and consisted of the main two-day conference, several workshops and a field trip. Overall, the event was an outstanding success in terms of delivery, content and networking opportunities. Participation was strong, with 221 conference delegates and 96 workshop/field trip attendees representing 104 organisations.

Australian agencies that presented at ANHMC10 included Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES); Geoscience Australia; Department of Biodiversity; Conservation and Attractions, NSW Rural Fire Service and Department of Health (WA).​ Conference highlights included:

  • The conference opening by the Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon. Francis Logan MLA and the welcome address by State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) Chair, Dr Ron Edwards.

  • Keynote speaker Prof David Johnston (Massey University) summarised the work undertaken by the EM sector over the last ten years, lessons learned and progress made.

  • Mark Crosweller's (Attorney General's Department) keynote address was particularly well received, including his frank, honest, 'warts and all' account of events during the Canberra Fire.

  • Dr Melanie Irons' (Monash University) keynote presentation and social media workshop was timely given the developing role of social media in disaster management. Her efforts also showed the possibility of community leadership emerging from outside traditional structures.

  • New Zealander attendees and presenters offered alternative views and ideas of EM that could be adapted and adopted in WA. The proactive investigation of expected catastrophic events (e.g. South Island Alpine Fault earthquake) is being done by a wide collaboration of organisations. Practical discussions on the use of science in public policy were offered by presenters who examined hazard event impacts and government decisions regarding mitigation such as land use planning and warning/alert systems.

  • The presentation by Jeff Farrell from New Zealand's Whatakane District Council discussed the 12 year journey and challenges of converting science into natural hazard risk reduction policy for a long recurrence interval high consequence natural hazard event. The efforts of one local government may shape and determine the NZ national policy. The determined risk has been demonstrated to be of equal consequence as cancer and smoking health impacts; areas where the government has taken preventative measures.

  • The important role of local government emergency managers and the need to support them was highlighted.

  • Work done in Indonesia showed that the involvement of university researchers in local government risk reduction work can offer longer term support as it stands outside government election terms.

  • A key theme that emerged from the presentations was how building trust and pre-planning enables a better response during an event.

  • The differing recovery priorities for rural and urban populations following the 2016 New Zealand Kaikoura earthquake were described, where livelihood protection in rural areas was of greater concern during recovery than housing. These different priorities were also referenced by Mr Crosweller in regards to agricultural asset protection during bushfires in Australia.

The conference was complemented by five workshops and a field trip:​​​​​

  • ​​'The way forward for Recovery in Western Australia' workshop
  • '​​Building resilient community organisations – challenges and opportunities' workshop

  • 'Big uncomfortable ideas' workshop

  • 'Demonstrating the use of a value tool for natural hazard decision making: how to include intangible benefits in economic analyses' workshop

  • 'Reduction of risks and disasters in isolated communities' workshop

  • '​Classroom Cruise - The Waterways of Perth'​ field trip

The ​11th Australasian Natural Hazards Management Conference will take place in Wellington, New Zealand on May 30-31, 2018.

Other related links:

ANHMC10 images

Resilent Australia Awards ceremony at ANHMC10

City of Mandurah wins National Award