It’s an experience no Australian wants to relive, but bushfire seasons like that of 2019/2020 are likely to increase in frequency due to climate change. On this Policy Forum Pod, defence expert Brendan Sargeant, emergency law scholar Michael Eburn, forestry academic Peter Kanowski, and health professional Arnagretta Hunter discuss the bushfire royal commission and how policymakers should be preparing to manage more severe bushfires. 

The 2019/2020 bushfire season was a traumatic experience for so many Australians, but are the country’s policymakers learning the right lessons from the Black Summer? Are the recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements being taken seriously? And, with Australia facing the prospect of increasingly severe weather patterns due to climate change, how can governments, emergency services, and citizens work together to protect their communities? On this episode of Policy Forum Pod, Professor Brendan Sargeant, Honorary Associate Professor Michael Eburn, and Professor Peter Kanowski join Dr Arnagretta Hunter to discuss what policymakers and citizens should learn from Australia’s Black Summer. 

Michael Eburn is Honorary Associate Professor in the College of Law at The Australian National University. He is a leading researcher in emergency services, emergency management, and the law.

Brendan Sargeant is Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and Professor of Practice in Defence and Strategic Studies at The Australian National University.

Peter Kanowski is Professor of Forestry in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at The Australian National University. His work focuses on forest and environmental policy,  sustainability, policy learning and development, and community engagement when it comes to forest-related issues.

Arnagretta Hunter is a cardiologist, physician, and a Senior Clinical Lecturer for ANU Medical School.

The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements report is available online, as are recordings of the workshops run by ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions. Brendan Sargeant’s recent Centre of Gravity paper, ‘Challenges to the Australian Strategic Imagination’, is available via ANU Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

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