Western Sydney University to lead NSW Bushfire and Natural Hazards Research Centre


Professor Matthias Boer from Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment will head the NSW Bushfire and Natural Hazards Research Centre, a new $8 million collaborative research centre involving researchers from six universities funded by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

Using new technology to drive innovative practices for conducting operations as well as evaluating risks and environmental impacts, the new centre will revolutionise the approach to managing fire danger and other natural hazards.

The centre will bring together researchers from universities and government agencies, amongst other partners, to better understand and predict the likelihood of these hazards.

Professor Boer said the establishment of the NSW Bushfire and Natural Hazards Research Centre will build on existing collaborative partnerships.

“We are excited to lead this new research centre. We look forward to working with our five consortium partners to drive the change that has been called for by the 2019/20 Bushfire Inquiry,” said Professor Boer.

“As the Director of the centre I look forward to leading this crucial work to continue protecting the State and guiding improved action through innovation and research.”

The new centre will have a central hub at Western Sydney University and additional nodes at the University of New South Wales, University of Wollongong, University of Tasmania, University of Melbourne and the Australian National University.

The establishment of the NSW Bushfire and Hazards Research Centre is the result of a key recommendation from the 2019/20 inquiry into the Black Summer bushfires, calling for enhanced commitment to how the state deals with natural disasters.

The project will establish a major world centre for research into natural disasters that will see development of innovative new solutions for the management of natural hazards.

The new Research Centre forms part of the $40.3 million Natural Hazards Research and Technology program managed by NSW Reconstruction Authority and will be administered by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.


19 January 2023

Lauren Austin, Senior Media Officer