Emergency services

For communities, it is often the way hazards disrupt and degrade lifelines that sustain them that generate the worst impacts.

Conversely, it is the effective functioning of established lifelines - and in some cases the unexpected emergence of informal lifelines - within disaster situations that often saves lives and reduces impacts.

This research uses a multidimensional approach that incorporates multiple temporal and spatial scales, professional perspectives, academic disciplines and methods, and both conceptual and empirical knowledge.

Regional Collaboration in Emergency Management

Collaboration between agencies, organisations, and communities is essential to emergency management, and resource sharing is a fundamental driver for collaboration between responsible authorities.

The Loddon Mallee Region in Victoria has experienced significant emergency events including flood events in 2022 and 2024. Concurrent events and compounding impacts including through the long tail of recovery are straining emergency management resources, and climate change predictions indicate that extreme events will become more frequent and intense.

This research project engages with the Northern Victorian Emergency Management Cluster (NVEMC), a formalised Cluster composed of five Local Government Authorities and key organisations and industry. Commencing in 2023, this project aims to explore how regional collaboration might support emergency management through research with NVEMC, including understanding how NVEMC operates, how collaboration has evolved in response to events, and what is needed to support effective collaboration in the context of climate change.

Lifeline Resilience

This exploratory project ‘Understanding the resilience of lifelines for regional and remote communities’, aims to develop an Australian research agenda and conceptual framework of lifeline resilience. Central to lifelines are essential services, supply chains, and critical infrastructure, as well as human relations and actions. Understanding how lifelines function and how they could function better in the context of a wide range of external and internal stressors is vital to strengthening the resilience of Australian society under climate change.

The project will identify the primary research needs and opportunities around lifeline resilience in Australia, including what different methodological approaches and disciplines can offer and what new work is needed. Part of this includes fostering new connections, dialogue and a shared conceptual understanding of lifeline resilience between relevant professionals. Informed by a cross-disciplinary, international literature review, stakeholder engagement and testing of methods in a case study setting, the project will help establish a common understanding of lifeline resilience and the knowledge needed to improve it.