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Release of report into trial of bushfire detection cameras



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COMMONWEALTH ATTORNEY-GENERAL HON ROBERT McCLELLAND MP AND NEW SOUTH WALES MINISTER FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES

HON STEVE WHAN MP AND

VICTORIAN MINISTER FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES HON BOB CAMERON MP

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.attorneygeneral.gov.au

25 October 2010

RELEASE OF REPORT IN TO TRIAL OF BUSHFIRE DETECTION CAMERAS

Commonwealth Attorney -General, Robert McClelland, New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services, Steve Whan and Victorian Minister for Emergency Services, Bob Cameron today released an independent report into the trial of bushfi re detection cameras conducted earlier this year.

The report, ‘Remote Fire Detection Trials Evaluation of Three Fire Detection Systems’ , by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), undertaken by the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organis ation (CSIRO) , examines whether the critical time between a fire starting and it being detected could be reduced by the use of remotely controlled bushfire detection came ras.

The trial conducted between February and April in the Otway Ranges in Victoria and near Tumut in New South Wales aimed to:

• assess the ability of bushfire detection ca meras to detect fire outbreaks; • assess the technology’s potential to inte grate into fire service systems and processes; • provide information for situational awa reness; and • examine whether remote cameras would avoid detecting events that were not fires.

The report finds that all camera systems tested were able to observe and locate fires during both day and night. However, detection by the camera systems was slower and less reliable than by a trained human observer in a fire tower.

Accordingly, the report states that it is n ot possible to rely on the cameras as a sole primary detection method, however, they could be used to supplement other detection methods, particularly at night, or in remote locations.

The Commonwealth has agreed to conduct a n ational workshop next week to discuss the outcomes of the trial and to review the report in detail to consider the use of fire detection cameras in Australia.

Attorney General News Release 2

The workshop will bring together senior repre sentatives from the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, emergency management agencies, as well as key members of the scientific an d research community. The three companies that participated in the trial have also been invited to present on their products.

A report on the outcomes of the workshop will be provided to the National Emergency Management Committee for consideration.

The Report is a ttached and a vailable at www.ag.gov.au/publications .

Media Contact: Daniel Gleeson (McClelland) 0417 886 111 Garth Montgomery (Whan) 0408 864 851 Cameron Scott (Cameron) 0448 346 942