Planning Institute appoints manager of disaster planning initiative
The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) has appointed a former airport redevelopment manager to set up the initiative 'Supporting Post Disaster Planning in Flood Affected Areas'.
Megan Dugdale said her role as Project Coordinator will be to create protocols and provide the wherewithal for regional and remote area planners to better deal with natural disasters well into the future.
"My job will take twelve months, but in that time we will have a system that gives planners in the regions better access to valuable knowledge," Ms Dugdale said.
"Some of these regional planners work on their own and the new system will give them access to other planning professionals with prior disaster experience and the tools to function better in a post disaster environment."
Engaged by PIA, Megan Dugdale will work out of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority which has already been credited with an enormous amount of rebuilding since last year's major disasters.
"My work will be different to the many challenges facing the Reconstruction Authority planners. But certainly there is asynergistic relationship with the roles and we'll be able to communicate better working together.
"A lot of reconstruction has already been completed twelve months on from last year's events but there is still a lot to learn from what's happened.
"Major disasters can expose gaps in some processes and highlight the need to understand more about what happens in such events.
"The intention from this is to set up a system and a process that has an ongoing effect. We'll set up mentors and those relationships will continue after my work is done. So it's not just short term focus."
The PIA initiative has been made possible with funding from the Attorney General's Department through the National Emergency Management Program (NEMP). Following last years significant flood events, PIA was invited to apply for assistance to help rebuild devastated communities.
PIA President Dyan Currie said the institute was pleased to be able to appoint Megan Dugdale to set up and manage the program.
"We are grateful for the funding that has enabled PIA to do this and during the next twelve months we will be able to assist planners in locations that are still struggling with rehabilitation.
"With this system in place professional knowledge developed through post disaster recovery experience will be easily accessed by planners in affected areas."
The project will include the establishment of web based links and resources on post disaster planning, educational seminars, volunteer support and outreach services facilitated by experienced post-disaster planners.