The bushfires in Victoria have so far claimed 131 lives, making it Australia's worst-ever bushfire disaster. CYCLONE MAHINA, 1899: struck Cape York in the country's far north, causing the greatest death toll of any natural disaster in Australia's recorded history. Less than a month after the Australian state of Queensland was hit by a series of devastating floods in January 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked the New Zealand city of Christchurch, which was then followed by the category 9 earthquake that caused the devastating effects of the Japan tsunami.
If you have a question about your insurance policy, or need help identifying your insurer, call the Insurance Council of Australia's 24-hour emergency hotline on 1300 728 228.
Since the new year, fire-fighting crews have battled hundreds of bush fires in south-east Australia, including in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Whatever the sceptics may say, our climate is becoming more extreme, and Australia is merely the latest place to suffer from the effects of global warming. After all, heat waves and bush fires have historically been a regular fixture of the Australian climate; the same can be said for tropical storms which affect the east coast of Australia.
A daily natural disasters list (published everyday) includes details of all (almost) natural disasters occurred worldwide. The Regional Australia Institute (RAI), at the request of Coles, has examined the relationship between the business and regional Australia with a focus on nine regions. Despite these positive factors, some regional SMEs in Western Australia do face constraints on access to finance.
Regions in Western Australia are in a period of transition as the highs of the resources boom start to diminish. The first in the series to be released is Pathways to Settlement: Population mobility in regional Western Australia from 2001 to 2011. Talking point: Returning to regional Australia looks at the influx of Australians aged 25-44 into regional areas.
To understand this relationship better, the Regional Australia Institute is developing a series of case studies of successful regional cities, starting with Goulburn and Orange in New South Wales. The key finding of the report is that the resurrection of the local economy is crucial to getting communities back on track after a natural disaster, but this is often overlooked in favour of rebuilding physical infrastructure, returning a town to ‘normal’ although key economic drivers may have been permanently altered. To meet this need, the Regional Australia Institute has developed an online index and interactive map tracking the competitiveness of Australia’s 560 Local Government Areas (LGA) and 55 Regional Development Australia (RDA) regions, unlocking thousands of insights into regional Australia. All the research papers from the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference are now available in full.
Natural hazards research findings will continue to flow between Australia and New Zealand under a new agreement. We want to develop a clear understanding of the potential for growth and prosperity in all of Australia’s regions, and how communities can make these transitions. More than half of the regional population now lives in the 12 largest regional towns and cities located across each of the nine regions in Western Australia. Yet while a wealth of information on our economy is available at a State and national level, there has been no consistent, accessible insight into the performance and development prospects of regional Australia. This guides our research agenda to ensure policy makers have the information they need to make informed decisions about Australia’s future. This process, termed ‘normalisation’, effectively estimates the building losses or fatalities from an event as if the event were to impact present-day society, allowing a comparison of the most damaging natural hazard events, even if they occurred decades apart.The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC project, An analysis of building losses and human fatalities from natural disasters, aims to measure and understand the impacts of natural hazards in terms of the toll on human life and the built environment.

Hazards covered are bushfire, earthquake, flood, windstorm, hailstorm, heatwave, landslide, lightning strike, severe rain, tornado, cyclone and tsunami. Crompton RP 2011, Normalising the Insurance Council of Australia Natural Disaster Event List: 1967–2011. Another threat to tourism stems from risks to the natural environment, which can affect the attractiveness of a destination or access to it and result in lower visitor numbers. ASH WEDNESDAY BUSHFIRES, 1983: Fires erupted across Victoria and South Australia states, killing 75 people, including 12 volunteer firefighters. Flood inundated homes and businesses with LPG or natural gas installations must engage a licensed gas fitter before reconnection and use of appliances. More than 2,000 houses were destroyed in Victoria and several hundred more in South Australia.
A few decades ago in Australia, the number of new record high temperatures each year was approximately balanced by the number of new record low temperatures. The major natural disasters are linked to definite page containing update report on that disaster.
The Regional Australia Institute’s Pathfinder Initiative combines the knowledge and experience of local leaders and stakeholders with RAI’s analytical capability and unparalleled access to the best available information on regions.
Advances in information and communications technology (ICT) are changing the nature of many jobs in Australia, as they enable both new types of work and new working arrangements to emerge.
As a result of recent growth, Western Australia has acquired a new source of potential competitive advantage in the network of larger regional towns and cities across each region. To better understand this relationship, the Regional Australia Institute is developing a series of Talking Point papers, designed to stimulate discussion and showcase regional experience.
In early November, the Regional Australia Institute launched a project to understand how competitive advantage and growth can become more closely aligned. To identify the imperatives for a balanced, regionally responsive development strategy for northern Australia, the Regional Australia Institute is has developed a paper reviewing the competitiveness profiles from [In]Sight: Australia’s regional competitiveness index for seven Regional Development Australia (RDA) regions and 74 Local Government Areas (LGA) north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Much of Australia's insight into business conditions is dominated by metropolitan perspectives, particularly at the national level. To be successful in this transitional period, regional Western Australia will need to look to its fundamental competitive advantages and how they relate to a changing economic environment. If we can step up and meet these challenges, the regions, and Australia as a whole, will prosper.
The first of its kind, [In]Sight has been specifically developed to bridge the gap between knowledge, debate and decision-making for the potential and future pathways for non-metropolitan Australia, tailored to reflect the issues that matter to regional Australia. The Stocktake of Regional Research was the first step in addressing the on-going challenge of connecting people with relevant existing knowledge about regional development, and led to the creation of [In]Form: Australia’s online library of regional research. Data from the Insurance Council of Australia’s Historical Disaster Statistics list(1), see Figure 1, is composed of insurance industry losses from weather-related natural hazards (e.g.
From a natural disaster perspective, Australia is having a much worse year than New Zealand, despite our apparent penchant for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding, and the occasional crippling winter storm on this side of the ditch.
With three natural disasters in three months demolishing three different countries, the subject of crisis management has never been more topical. Most small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in regional Western Australia generally have good access to finance to enable their business to grow, but some face additional barriers.

This report assesses opportunities and challenges for online work in regional Western Australia to better inform regional development strategies and policy. Population Dynamics in Regional Australia explores the major factors, key drivers and influences of population change, including ageing populations, economic drivers, the role of international and internal migration, temporary migration and analyses how they influence the distribution of population across the regions.
The Regional Australia Institute and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation are undertaking a joint project on structural adjustment policy in regional Australia. If we are to make the most of our nations’ economic opportunities, understanding the unique potential of Australia’s regions for growth and change is critical. Over recent years there have been societal changes, for example significant population growth and movements of some of this population to areas susceptible to natural hazards (such as river floodplains and coastal or bushland fringes).
To date, the Insurance Council of Australia has officially declared three natural disasters in 2013 (the Tasmanian bush fires, New South Wales bush fires, and cyclone Oswald).
Research by the Regional Australia Institute reveals that SMEs in regional Western Australia are more likely to be in industries, such as agriculture, construction, and manufacturing.
Too often the term ‘regional Australia’ is shorthand for small rural towns, when people talk about regional Australia they usually have one type of community in mind – small, with most people working in agriculture and a long way from any capital city. Subscribe to our mailing list to make sure you don't miss the release of the project's key findings in the coming weeks.
The full abstract and podcast of the presentation are available on the event page.The researchThis paper is a first pass at quantifying the impacts of natural hazards on fatalities and building losses in Australia over the past century.
Furthermore, with this increase in population has come an increase in wealth in hazard-prone areas—homes are costing more in dollar terms and are getting bigger. The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) is partnering with the Department of Regional Development, Western Australia (DRD) to explore areas of mutual research interest in WA.
In 2011, the Regional Australia Institute gathered together the largest collection of Australian regional research ever compiled, and made it available online, for free, for anyone with an interest in regional issues. Figure 2 shows fatalities from bushfires, earthquakes, floods, wind gust, hail, landslides, lightning, rain, tornadoes and cyclones in Australia from 1900 to 2010. In 2011, the Regional Australia Institute undertook an extensive stocktake of available research on regional issues since the year 2000.
This finding is in line with research on global natural disasters(3), which indicates human fatalities are either constant or decreasing.Natural hazard fatalities from 1900 to 2011 as recorded in PerilAUS are shown in Table 2. The project also found that there is a substantial amount of research in regional Australian policy development. Tuesday 13 October was the International Day for Disaster Reduction, with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC hosting a discussion panel to raise awareness. Calling all fire scientists, the call for papers for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC-sponsored 5th International Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference is now open.
Two new staff members have joined the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC team, with Dr Matt Hayne and Loriana Bethune coming on board.

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