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Bushfire research body seeks funding extension

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The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre is working to secure a new government grant before its funding term ends in two years.

It says the increased frequency and intensity of bushfires, cyclones and other hazards highlights the need to continue with its work.

“The [centre] has reached the phase of its life cycle where the amount of funding to new issues is very limited, at a time where the challenges we are seeing related to natural hazard impacts are increasing,” CEO Richard Thornton said.

“All of this is occurring during large demographic shifts within Australian communities. This will see more vulnerable people at risk, at the same time that the hazard landscape is rapidly changing.”

A joint working group has been established with the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council to present the case for new financial support.

The centre received about $47 million in 2013 from the federally funded Co-operative Research Centres Program to support its work until 2021. Matching contributions came from state and territory government organisations, research institutions and non-profit bodies.