Negotiating risk and responsibility through law, policy and planning

Blythe McLennan, Jessica Weir, Michael Eburn, John Handmer, Stephen Dovers, Barbara NORMAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


The 2011 National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (COAG 2011) sets the context for natural disaster management as a 'shared responsibility' of all sectors of government and society, as part of building a more comprehensive approach to emergency management. However, it remains difficult to change relationships and practices to share responsibility, either between emergency management agencies and other government sectors, or between governments and at-risk communities. This paper reports on the research of three independent but complementary projects established through the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre to identify the legal, policy and planning structures and processes that could enhance integration of emergency management imperatives across public policy sectors, agencies and portfolios. This article distils and summarises some key conclusions regarding a central, yet seriously under-acknowledged facet, of developing public policy for natural hazard risk in Australia: the political and social negotiation of risk and responsibility. This is an overview paper and many of the issues raised require further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
JournalThe Australian Journal of Emergency Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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