Involving every tier of government in a national plan before, during and after a bushfire will build national resilience in an era of more frequent, more destructive and compound disasters.
Multi-stakeholder resilience specialist Renae Hanvin, in response to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements’ recent focus on the responsibilities and roles of each tier of government during bushfire, has called on the Federal Government to support the establishment of an independent national resilience alliance.
“The Royal Commission heard in May from scientists that Australia faces even more dangerous bushfire conditions in the future,’’ Ms Hanvin said. “We all need to be prepared for this new normal and become familiar with the `prepare, respond, recovery’ routine.’’
However, no government could continue to shoulder the economic or procedural burden of disaster recovery alone.
The need for cross-tier government co-operation and business support was inevitable.
It was time government took part in activating the notion of “shared responsibility’’ that enabled collective contribution to disaster resilience. That could be achieved by the Resilient Australia Alliance (RAA), a private-public alliance model developed by corporate2community after four years of global and local research.
Founder of corporate2community and creator of the RAA, a private-public alliance to build a nation of all-hazards resilience, Ms Hanvin said the Federal Government must “put a stop to the reactive, post disaster pop-up approach that comes after the likes of floods, bushfires or the current pandemic’’.
Included in her organisation’s response to the Bushfire Royal Commission, Ms Hanvin said the current system of individual government departments and agencies working in silo towards their own mandate was not economically efficient or effective.
“It is time to support an apolitical and sustainable model that activates these efforts, a model that is not impacted by portfolio and machinery of government staff turnover.”
The Blue Mountains region has prepared a jam-packed calendar of festivals and events to welcome visitors back to Australia’s first tourist destination.
Blue Mountains Tourism president Jason Cronshaw said while the region was still struggling from mass tourist cancellations during the recent bushfire situation, businesses had taken a positive approach to recovery.
“Compared to other regions where tourism attractions, hotels and infrastructure have been destroyed, we recognise how very blessed we are.
“Much of our 1 million square hectare Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area looks as fantastic as ever, including the globally-recognised Three Sisters scene.
“More bush tracks into the wilderness are opening all the time.
“All the popular tourist strips and businesses are open and welcome visitors.’’
Mr Cronshaw, who also owns the double-decker Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, encouraged people with existing bookings to still come, those who had cancelled to re-book and people considering a trip to #HolidayHereThisYear in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area right on Sydney’s doorstep.
Several long-scheduled festivals and events will go ahead as planned, including annual Roaring 20s Festival events at the Carrington and Hydro Majestic hotels in February, Blue Mountains Music Festival in March and Winter Magic Festival in June.
“The Lady Luck and Wines of the West festivals got things rolling in January and, while crowds were down on previous years, that show of confidence has buoyed the wider business community which will eventually lead the market back to normal.’’
From live music pub gigs, community markets and open days to costumed balls and fundraising dinners, the Blue Mountains will be a hive of non-stop activity throughout 2020.
Take your pick from these upcoming Blue Mountains festivals and events:
- February 1: Great Art Deco Weekend, Carrington Hotel, Katoomba St, Katoomba
- February 7 – 9: Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival, Carrington Hotel, Katoomba
- February 8: Roaring 20s Festival, Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath – Charleston for Charity dance, Majestic Long Lunch, Deco Dinner & The Roslyns
- February 8-9 & 29: vintage car rides, Hydro Majestic Hotel, Medlow Bath
- February 15: Woodford Academy open day, Great Western Hwy, Woodford
- February 23: Trains Trams & Ts Roaring 20s event, Valley Heights Rail Museum, Tusculum Rd, Valley Heights
- February 29: Gatsby Casino Night for Rotary, Hydro Majestic Hotel, Medlow Bath
- March 13-15: Blue Mountains Music Festival at various venues around Katoomba
- March 21: Woodford Academy Harvest Festival, Great Western Hwy, Woodford
- April 10-14: 61st Australian National Square Dance Convention, Blue Mountains Grammar School, Wentworth Falls
- May 24: Teddy Bears’ Day Out, Valley Heights Rail Museum, Tusculum Rd, Valley Heights
- June 20: Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba St, Katoomba