1630 - Akvan Gajanayake

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Published on June 15, 2019

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Post-Disaster Decision Making in Road Infrastructure Recovery Projects: An Interview Study with Practitioners in Queensland : Post-Disaster Decision Making in Road Infrastructure Recovery Projects: An Interview Study with Practitioners in Queensland Akvan Gajanayake School of Engineering RMIT University Hydrological disasters and road infrastructure in Australia: Hydrological disasters and road infrastructure in Australia Population and Road density Hydrological disasters Consequences of disaster related road failure: Consequences of disaster related road failure Recovery and reconstruction cost over $4 billion 80% of the infrastructure damage to the State of Queensland, from the 2010-2011 cyclone events was on road infrastructure Consequences of disaster related road failure: Consequences of disaster related road failure The rescue, recovery and reconstruction efforts depend on the accessibility to the disaster zone Delays in reconstruction can exacerbate impacts to the community and the economy. Especially important in multi-hazard scenarios Objectives of the project: Objectives of the project Examine how post-disaster decision making is carried out in a disaster prone region in Queensland, Australia. Identify the factors influencing decision making and the techniques used by practitioners in prioritising reconstruction projects Identify how the decision making processes can be improved Factors influencing road reconstruction decision making: Factors influencing road reconstruction decision making Availability of resources Coordination between different authorities The role of c entral funding agencies and lack of grass root level input A regional council in South East Queensland: A regional c ouncil in South East Queensland Flood damage in the region During the 2011 flood event 40 out of 48 bridges were damaged 1,080km (77%) of road infrastructure was damaged 174 culverts required major repair or replacement within the council Interviews: Interviews Organisation Division Number of respondents Regional Council in Queensland Infrastructure Works and Services 1 Disaster Management 2 Environment and Pest Management 1 Economic Development 1 Community Development and Engagement 2 Queensland Government Engagement and Technical Services, Reconstruction Authority 1 Program Delivery and Operations, Department of Transport 2 The importance of social factors: The importance of social factors R oad infrastructure facilitates the smooth functioning of the community Risk of isolation was an area of concern in rural communities No accepted methods to assess these social impacts “ A bridge is not just a bridge, but a whole bunch of other implications [are associated with it].” Understanding of environmental impacts: Understanding of environmental impacts A direct link between the natural environment and the socio-economic impacts Engineering vs. ecological solutions Increased involvement of environmental practitioners in disaster management work within Councils “ Because an infrastructure solution may have a negative environmental [impact]… we need to talk together… [to] try and get a more holistic outcome with decision making.” Post-disaster decision making processes: Post-disaster decision making processes No systematic method to assess the wider impacts Wider socio-economic impacts were considered based on tacit knowledge Belief that decisions made on gut-feel were correct “It’s just really gut feel…. So we’ll do it in our heads but if we were questioned later on, we have no record of how we made that decision.” Political and bureaucratic factors: Political and bureaucratic factors Reconstruction priorities could depend on political influence Community displeasure on reconstruction activities New regulations lead to heavy reliance on authorities for recovery “People say bloody Council hasn’t fixed that bridge yet. But they don’t understand the processes and how complex and time consuming [that can be].” Discussion and conclusions: Discussion and conclusions Engineers vs. ecologists – Engineers dominate the decision making Practitioners ’ tacit knowledge on the locality and past experiences can be transformed into set methods and practices M ore effort in community engagement in order to “bridge the gap” between the affected communities and authorities Legislating community recovery actions can reduce the resilience and adaptability of communities Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements Interviewees from the Regional Council and the Queensland Government The Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship scheme The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC  Thank you: Thank you

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