Focus on trust during bushfires

1 JANUARY 2003

People around Wangaratta including the King Valley who were affected by the 2006-07 bushfires can have their say on their experiences of the fires through a survey being mailed to every fire affected household in the area. Charles Sturt University (CSU) PhD student Emily Sharp, a member of the University’s Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS),  who is studying the role of trust in developing and implementing fire management strategies, has already done in-depth interviews with 38 people affected by the fires as well as 12 agency staff. She is investigating what factors influence trust between communities and government agencies before, during and after a fire. “People’s experiences of the fires depended on many factors, including where they lived, how much vegetation was around them, the topography, how much experience of fire they had had beforehand, and their confidence in their fire plans.” The survey, to go to up to 650 residents in mid April, will take 25 to 30 minutes to complete. Ms Sharp hopes her research will improve community/government agency relationships.

Media contact:

Wes Ward, 02 6051 9906

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