The Federal Government has announced it will contribute $47 million for the establishment of a new Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) from 1 July.

The work of the new CRC will build on the current work being conducted by the existing Bushfire CRC and will expand into research work into other natural hazards.

The $47 million will be allocated over eight years, but the funding is contingent on the states and territories making similar contributions they currently make to the existing Bushfire CRC.

“Communities across Australia have been severely impacted by bushfires, floods and severe weather events again this summer.  This increased investment in research will improve approaches to mitigation, operational responses and community resilience to natural hazards,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement.

“The expanded focus of the new CRC appropriately reflects the impact of broader natural hazards on the Australian community.  The new CRC will conduct coordinated and interdisciplinary research, including work with communities, to improve disaster resilience and reduce the human, social, economic and environmental costs from bushfires and other natural hazards.”