Friday, 9 May 2014

Case study 5 Coping with disaster: Victorian Bushfire 2009

The 2009 Victorian bushfires also known as the black Saturday bushfires were a series of bushfires that ignited on the 7th of February 2009. These bushfires killed 173 people and injured around 414 people, over 3500 structures destroyed mainly houses with over 4billion dollars’ worth of damages.  

This day was a perfect day for bushfires with the temperature peaking in Melbourne at 46.4deggrees (C) and 48.8 degrees (C) and over 115 km/h wind combined to make some of the worst bushfire weather in Australian history. The Australian institute of meteorology predicted these conditions well before they happened they and preparations were made warnings were given the fireman were ready to fight the blaze and still 173 people died.

The towns of Kinglake, Marysville, Narbethong, Strathewen and Flowerdale were completely destroyed well many others were severely damaged. Although this is extremely tragic planning can go a long way to making sure that something like this won’t happen again. In September 2009 a royal commission into the Victorian bushfires was called and policy improvements were recommended and there was a strong focus on buying back properties in extreme danger areas, wide fire barriers and clearings around roads and property’s.

other recommendations where more back burning, fire trails, higher fire safety standards for properties (including retrofitting heritage properties), more fire access roads and improving communications as fire tore through telephone lines and towers and communications where lost better communications facilities are needed and more resilient from fire. Another focus was on vulnerable demographics almost 50% of people who died where over 70 or under 12 more has to be done to protect these vulnerable members of the community such as making aged care and child care facilities more fire resistant and in non-fire prone areas.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Case study 3 Planning for adaptation: Batemans Bay

Batemans bay is a town growing fast and has many issues and problems to consider which are unique to settlements on the coast. Batemans bay currently has a population of around 16,000 people which is expected to increase by around 40% to 23,000 by 2031. Batemans bay has an ageing and elderly population with 22% of the population over 65 and this expected to increase over the next 20 years Batemans bay being a desirable retirement destination for members of Canberra and surrounding areas. For this reason Eurobodalla Shire Council have brought in an ageing-in-place strategy to provide planning directions and controls that support easy-maintenance homes for seniors that are located close to shops and other services.
Batemans Bay
The growth of Batemans Bay will be achieved through a combination of Greenfield, urban renewal and infill projects. Two areas were considered for greenfield development both north of Batemans bay CBD; one in Batemans bay north and the other near Maloney’s beach after much deliberation and studies the north Batemans bay site was found to be the best area for greenfield development and Maloney’s beach should not be used until after the north Batemans bay sit.
new growth areas
Although these Greenfield areas could accommodate Batemans bays population increase this would not be ideal for Batemans bay infill will be needed in central areas to keep the population especially elderly population close to services. Environmental issues also need to be thought about when planning anywhere but a costal environment is especially venerable.
elderly infill housing Batemans Bay
Sea level rise is a serious issue that needs to be planned for with the sea rising an average of 3mm per year, king tides and heavy rainfall also make flooding a more recent event, planning needs to consider this and leave barriers and clearings from the ocean and rivers. If planned well this could save millions of dollars’ worth of damages in the future also Batemans bay being regional and surrounded by bush land and only with one major access road bush fires are a serious issue which can be managed via back burning fire breaks and fire barriers/clearings especially around roads and fire routes.