Public policy, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation

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Author(s)
Howes, Michael
Grant-Smith, Deanna
Reis, Kimberley
Bosomworth, Karyn
Tangney, Pete
Heazle, Michael
McEvoy, Darryn
Burton, Paul
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Brian Head

Date
2013
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308633 bytes

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Brisbane, Australia

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Abstract

Public policymakers are caught in a dilemma: there is a growing list of urgent issues to address, at the same time that public expenditure is being cut. Adding to this dilemma is a system of government designed in the 19th century and competing theories of policymaking dating back to the 1950s. The interlinked problems of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation are cases in point. As the climate changes, there will be more frequent, intense and/or prolonged disasters such as floods and bushfires. Clearly a well integrated whole of government response is needed, but how might this be achieved? Further, how could academic research contribute to resolving this dilemma in a way that would produce something of theoretical interest as well as practical outcomes for policymakers? These are the questions addressed by our research via a comparative analysis of the 2009 Victorian bushfires, the 2011 Perth Hills bushfires, and the 2011 Brisbane floods. Our findings suggest that there is a need to: improve community engagement and communication; refocus attention on resilience; improve interagency communication and collaboration; and, develop institutional arrangements that support continual improvement and policy learning. These findings have implications for all areas of public policy theory and practice.

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2013 Public Policy Network Conference

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© The Author(s) 2013. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this conference please refer to the conference’s website or contact the authors.

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Environment Policy

Australian Government and Politics

Land Use and Environmental Planning

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