The contrasting historical and cultural experience of fire, along with differences between legislative frameworks and actual fire patterns, mean that fire policy is a hotly contested topic in northern Australia.

How is policy defined?:

  1. a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions
  2. a high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures especially of a governmental body.
    (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Accessed 19th May 2005)

Fire policy is set by state governments and is enshrined in legislation. Policy is formulated in the context of social and political, not just technical, realities.

There has been very little published analysis of fire policy in northern Australia, and there is controversy surrounding what little has been published. Critically read the following three articles on fire policy and law in northern Australia.

Activity: Fire policy

Does policy matter?

What views have you formed about fire policy in northern Australia from your reading in this topic?

How important do you think issues of policy are for fire managers?

We expect that there will be people with direct experience in fire management and policy in the class group, and comment and critique of the arguments made in these articles are welcome.

Return to top of page ^