Australian bushfire crisis statement

By Virginia Laugesen posted 07 January 2020 17:46

  

8 January 2020

As the unimaginable scale of the Australian bushfires continues its devastating impact, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia recognises the professional implications for many of its members and their colleagues, as their focus turns to supporting their communities throughout the ongoing crisis and, once the danger has passed, to taking the lead on the recovery process.

As the crisis continues and emergency and recovery plans are activated in volatile conditions, IPWEA sends a message of connection and support to its members and all others affected by the fires’ destruction.

“There is no doubt many of our members have been personally affected by the bushfires in a variety of ways,” said IPWEA President, Mat Greskie.

“As an organisation, we extend our sincere appreciation to the volunteers and emergency service personnel involved on the ground and in the air, who are working in exhausting and dangerous conditions. We also appreciate the organisations assisting people who have been displaced with safe refuge, and everyone who is contributing to the emergency and recovery responses.”

Australasia CEO, David Jenkins said: “I’ve spoken with members living near the fires who have been directly impacted and remain in high-risk areas. IPWEA’s network has a wealth of planning, engineering and technical experience in supporting communities affected by natural disasters. Many of our members will be making significant contributions, for example by keeping critical roads, water supplies and buildings operational throughout the crisis.

“Though this catastrophic situation is far from over, we are ready to activate the collective expertise of our members and leaders and be of practical assistance when the time comes to help rebuild and reform the affected regions and communities.

“IPWEA will work with the authorities and agencies and collaborate with its eight divisions on the most effective use of the organisation’s resources to aid practical recovery and rehabilitation of the affected regions. As always, we welcome members’ input to this process as we seek to contribute, as a professional body, to Australia’s recovery effort as soon as possible.”

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