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The Bushfire resilience project for Aboriginal communities (BRAC) was initiated to ensure the resilience of remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to threats posed by fire. BRAC was a collaboration between the NSW Rural Fire Service, Indigenous groups and communities, Fire and Rescue NSW, and Bush Fire Management Committees.
The project was split into two stages, with the first stage being completed in August 2012, and the second stage being carried out over a 18 month period in 2013 and 2014.
The first stage involved bushfire risk assessments and mitigation strategy development for 34 remote aboriginal communities across NSW, to protect against these hazards and risks and to increase community preparation in case of fire.
The benefits of the first stage of the project include:
Stage two of the project involved implementing recommendations and strategies as a result of stage one. These included:
The project also actively encouraged the communities to participate in the local Bush Fire Management Committees as a land manager in these areas. This encouraged a strong and long lasting relationship between the Aboriginal communities and the NSW Rural Fire Service.
Additionally, the project also enabled the local Aboriginal communities to take ownership of the recommendations and strategies identified and to include them into their own local Business Plan as ongoing community resilience strategies. With the local Bush Fire Management Committees, the communities have a clear direction for the safety of their communities and what they can do to ensure ongoing community resilience and what help is available to them.
Abstract adapted from New South Wales Ministry for Police and Emergency Services and Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council
Emergency New South Wales
GPO Box 5434
Sydney NSW 2001
Ph: (02) 9212 9200