News

Researchers and councils building community resilience


22 October 2014

L-R: Associate Professor Dale Dominey-Howes, Director of the Asia - Pacific Natural Hazards Research Group, School of Geosciences; Mr Stephen Summerhayes, Senior Officer, Sydney Coastal Councils Group; Dr Fillipo Dall'Osso (Project Leader and Senior Researcher Fellow), Asia - Pacific Natural Hazards Research Group, School of Geosciences and Mr Geoff Withycombe, Executive Officer, Sydney Coastal Councils Group (Photo: NSW Ministry of Police and Emergency Services)
L-R: Associate Professor Dale Dominey-Howes, Director of the Asia - Pacific Natural Hazards Research Group, School of Geosciences; Mr Stephen Summerhayes, Senior Officer, Sydney Coastal Councils Group; Dr Fillipo Dall'Osso (Project Leader and Senior Researcher Fellow), Asia - Pacific Natural Hazards Research Group, School of Geosciences and Mr Geoff Withycombe, Executive Officer, Sydney Coastal Councils Group (Photo: NSW Ministry of Police and Emergency Services)

A collaborative project between the State's leading coastal Regional Organisation of Councils, theSydney Coastal Councils Group(SCCG), and theNatural Hazards Research Groupin theSchool of Geosciencesat the University of Sydney has been recognised as an innovative achievement that contributes to making our communities safer, stronger, more resilient and better prepared to manage emergencies.

On 16 October 2014, the NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services, the Hon. Stuart Ayres, MP, presented the parties with the NSW State Government Award (Local Government Category) for their project entitled Coastal Vulnerability to Multiple Inundation Sources (COVERMAR).

The two-year project, funded by the NSW Ministry for Police and Emergency Services under the Natural Disaster Resilience Program, developed and tested a multi-hazard tool to assess the vulnerability of buildings and critical infrastructure in Sydney's low-lying coastal areas to storm surge flood inundation and tsunamis. The simulations that the team investigated included inundation events with the annual probability of occurrence of 1/100, 1/1000 and 1/10,000 years. Further, they explored how many and how badly buildings would be damaged by those events with sea levels as they are today and then with sea level rises in 50 and 100 years from today.

The project expands awareness and understanding of the vulnerability of coasts to inundation and impacts on buildings and infrastructure. Results enhance community safety and preparedness by identifying vulnerability hotspots, evacuation corridors and refuges and enabled recommendations to be formulated in relation to planning and development, coastal and emergency management and communication. The findings have major implications for building code regulations, land-use planning, emergency planning and the insurance industry.

"This world class cutting edge collaborative research represents a show case of how researchers can make contributions to real world risk related problems that communities and governments at all levels must prepare for" said Associate Professor Dominey-Howes.

Geoff Withycombe, Executive Office, SCCG said: "This award showcases the outcomes of collaborative processes to developing community resilience to disaster. Resilience is an iterative process and we will continue to build upon the project outcomes and link it with our other initiatives."


Contact: Associate Professor Dale Dominey-Howes

Phone: 0401 647 959

Email: 36330522185325343b3a154e1f261c341d103122160a07374f4f540d2054353c