Australia’s bushfire response: science offers solutions

Australia’s science and technology community will mobilise its deep expertise to help the nation respond, recover and rebuild from this summer’s devastating megafires.


Science & Technology Australia President Associate Professor Jeremy Brownlie said the nation’s scientists and tech community stood “ready, willing and able” to help Government and local communities in the weeks and months ahead.

He renewed the offer of expertise at a roundtable convened by Science Minister Karen Andrews in Canberra today with leading science bodies including Science & Technology Australia.

“Australia needs high quality scientific expertise at the table as key decisions are taken in the weeks, months, years ahead as we undertake recovery and rebuilding – and establish new systems and policies to mitigate future bushfire threats.

“Our firefighters on the ground – working tirelessly and selflessly – are true heroes. We owe it to each and every one of them to ensure we have the best policy responses to manage this threat.”

“We offer the deep expertise and insights of our nation’s scientific community to the massive recovery task ahead – and to help minimise current and future risk posed by the serious threat of climate change.”

Associate Professor Brownlie backed Minister Andrews’ warning today that “every second spent discussing if climate change is real is a second we don’t spend addressing these issues”.

“We owe it to communities on the frontline of these terrifying bushfires to make every effort and deploy every piece of expertise and resource to tackle this existential challenge,” he said.

“Australia’s best scientific minds will play our part to help the nation and Government with expertise, research, action and policy to prevent a repeat of this summer’s devastating megafires.

“We want to work in close partnership with Government to ensure the best evidence and knowledge informs policy-making to combat this threat.

“This will require a long-term and coordinated response by Government, drawing on strong scientific expertise and advice.

“Australia has deep research capabilities in bushfire mitigation, climate change, managing biodiversity, sustaining our wildlife populations and ecosystems, water catchment management, and the physical and mental health of our communities.

“We offer this depth and breadth of expertise to help minimise the long-term threat of the fires and to inform action to prevent future devastation from bushfires of this scale and nature.

“As scientists, we stand ready to help Australia’s Government, Parliament and frontline emergency services with any expertise we can offer to help safeguard lives, livelihoods, and our natural environment for all the generations to come.”

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