Barwon Otways Bushfire Risk Landscape

The Barwon Otway Bushfire Risk Landscape extends from Queenscliff in the east to Terang in the west and north to Skipton. It includes the coastline between Geelong and Peterborough, the Otway Ranges and surrounding foothills. In 2011, the area's population was 292,800 people, of which most lived in the City of Geelong and surrounds. Torquay, Colac, Camperdown and Anglesea are among the area's larger towns. The area's population swells considerably during bushfire season with an influx of short term visitors, and domestic and international tourists.

Use this page to learn more about bushfire risk and management in Barwon Otways, and ask us questions.

The Barwon Otway Bushfire Risk Landscape extends from Queenscliff in the east to Terang in the west and north to Skipton. It includes the coastline between Geelong and Peterborough, the Otway Ranges and surrounding foothills. In 2011, the area's population was 292,800 people, of which most lived in the City of Geelong and surrounds. Torquay, Colac, Camperdown and Anglesea are among the area's larger towns. The area's population swells considerably during bushfire season with an influx of short term visitors, and domestic and international tourists.

Use this page to learn more about bushfire risk and management in Barwon Otways, and ask us questions.

News Feed

  • What you’ve told us about strategic bushfire management and engagement

    7 months ago
    Img_1532

    Over the past two years the Barwon Otway Bushfire Risk Landscape (BOBRL) has been working with a small group of committed community members and agency staff to evaluate and discuss strategic bushfire management.

    The Strategic Bushfire Risk Assessment and Strategy Selection (SBRASS) project formed an advisory group of 22 members from Otway communities and fire management agencies to deliberate over 12 alternative bushfire management strategies. Advisory group members were tasked with the challenging job of selecting the preferred bushfire management strategy for the BOBRL by making trade-offs among considerations such as economic loss to property, agriculture and tourism, loss of... Continue reading

    Over the past two years the Barwon Otway Bushfire Risk Landscape (BOBRL) has been working with a small group of committed community members and agency staff to evaluate and discuss strategic bushfire management.

    The Strategic Bushfire Risk Assessment and Strategy Selection (SBRASS) project formed an advisory group of 22 members from Otway communities and fire management agencies to deliberate over 12 alternative bushfire management strategies. Advisory group members were tasked with the challenging job of selecting the preferred bushfire management strategy for the BOBRL by making trade-offs among considerations such as economic loss to property, agriculture and tourism, loss of human life, fauna species decline, sense of place and impact on traditional cultures.

    The project allowed BORBL staff to actively learn about community values, expectations and preferences in relation to strategic bushfire management and use this information to shape the development of bushfire management strategies.

    BOBRL is greatly appreciative to the advisory group members who contributed their time, effort and energy towards the SBRASS project. Advisory group members brought with them expertise, local and historical knowledge, networks, community understanding, good humour and a myriad of other skills and qualities which are useful to bushfire planning at a risk landscape level. Together we overcame the steep learning curves of a brand new strategy selection process to develop a clearer understanding of what a bushfire management strategy should deliver.

    Watch this short video to learn about the benefits of working together on the project.


    BOBRL is proud to use SBRASS as a springboard to launch into more extensive community engagement on this website and beyond. Through our humble SBRASS beginnings, this is what you have told us so far. We look forward to learning more from the people and communities of Barwon Otway.

    What you’ve told us about engaging in strategic bushfire management:

    • You appreciate being provided with an avenue to voice your views in relation to strategic bushfire planning

    • Making trade-offs about strategic bushfire management can be confronting and challenging, but you appreciate the importance of doing this
    • You want us to continue engaging more broadly, and capture a diverse range of groups

    • You valued when we demonstrated rigour in and clearly explained our predictive modelling, as this improved the transparency of DELWP’s decision making
    • You see room for improvement in the methods and scales we use to measure intangible objectives such as sense of place, but you worked with the information available to make the most of the process
    • You appreciate the relationships you developed with other stakeholders through bushfire management discussions and enjoyed the opportunity to understand diverse perspectives

    • You gained a more nuanced understanding of risk and trade-offs and feel more ownership of bushfire management strategies through your involvement in tough decisions and meaningful consultation

    • The process can be complex and lengthy

    What you’ve told us about your bushfire management strategy preferences:

    • The ideal strategy balances multiple objectives, takes context into account, allows some operational flexibility, is transparent and rigorous and has community acceptance

    • You want to see ecologically sensitive burning throughout the landscape but are willing to trade-off some ecological functionality in strategic locations around communities at the highest risk from bushfires

    • You value biodiversity, community support, sense of place and economic outcomes

    • You are supportive of planned burning and community education, the two inputs which featured most frequently in your discussions

    • You would like to see community education which teaches land holders about the broader benefits of undertaking fuel reduction works on their properties

    • You believe community education should be about the ability of a community to plan, prepare and recover from a fire, with a focus on community strengthening, building trust and working together
    • You would like to see innovative education and delivery tailored to different needs, for example fire preparedness education for full year residents, summer residents and short stays/ day trippers.





  • View the Barwon Otway Strategic Bushfire Management Plan 2014

    7 months ago
    Bo_sbmp
    This plan is the first strategic bushfire management plan for the Barwon Otway bushfire risk landscape. It marks the beginning of a new, strategic, risk-based approach to bushfire management on public land that was recommended by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.


    This plan is the first strategic bushfire management plan for the Barwon Otway bushfire risk landscape. It marks the beginning of a new, strategic, risk-based approach to bushfire management on public land that was recommended by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.


  • The computer program that saved a town

    8 months ago

    Ever wanted to see Phoenix RapidFire in action? Melbourne University has put together this video.

    For the full story, click here.

    Ever wanted to see Phoenix RapidFire in action? Melbourne University has put together this video.

    For the full story, click here.