The summer of 2018-19 was the hottest on record for Australia. The extreme heatwaves and bushfires that occurred across Queensland are a clear indication that we are facing unprecedented challenges in understanding and responding to the impacts of natural hazards in a changing climate.
The State Heatwave Risk Assessment (SHRA) was developed to provide all stakeholders with clear and consistent information regarding the changing nature of heatwave risk in Queensland. It was a collaborative effort between multiple stakeholders, coordinated through a working group led by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), Queensland Health (QH), and the Department of Environment and Science (DES).
The inclusion of long-term climate change projections within the assessment represents a first for hazard specific, emergency management related risk assessments in Australia. This robust scientific basis enhances the assessment and enables State agencies and disaster management groups to inform their planning against current and future heatwave risk.