Natural hazard resilient communities and land use planning: the limitations of planning governance in tropical Australia

Harwood, Sharon, Carson, Dean, Wensing, Ed, and Jackson, Luke (2014) Natural hazard resilient communities and land use planning: the limitations of planning governance in tropical Australia. Journal of Geography & Natural Disasters, 4 (2). 1000130. pp. 1-15.

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This paper examines how two Australian land use planning systems address the creation of hazard resilient communities in tropical areas. The application of substantive hazard knowledge and how this influences the associated procedures within the planning system is examined. The case studies of Darwin the capital of the Northern Territory, and the beachside suburb of Machans Beach within the Cairns Regional Council in far north Queensland is investigated. Both case study locations have experienced tropical cyclones since settlement and despite their hazard prone locations, both have intensified over their 120 year existence. Moreover it is predicted that cyclones in tropical Australia will decrease in number but increase in intensity (CSIRO 2004). It would be rational to assume that industry, community and government would actively pursue planning strategies to negate the risk of natural hazards and the corresponding level of vulnerability to a hazard event. However, neither communities nor planning are driven by rational technical decision making processes. The paper concludes that the rhetoric for creating hazard resilient communities dominates national and state government policy, however this has minimal influence upon the legal framework that protects development rights. It would appear that the safe development paradox (Burby 2006 and Stevens et al 2010), is present in the Australian land use planning system, and that the focus of planning is on creating certainty of development rights and achieving efficiencies through urban settlement patterns, as opposed to creating hazard resilient communities.

Item ID: 34063
Item Type: Article (Scholarly Work)
ISSN: 2167-0587
Keywords: hazard resilient communities, Darwin, Cairns, storm surge, cyclones
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© 2014 Harwood S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2015 04:25
FoR Codes: 12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120507 Urban Analysis and Development @ 60%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160514 Urban Policy @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9610 Natural Hazards > 961010 Natural Hazards in Urban and Industrial Environments @ 100%
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