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Emergency Services, Environment

From fires to floods: RMIT experts available for comment on the weather disasters in the eastern states

RMIT University 2 mins read

Within days, eastern Australia has been attacked at both ends by bushfires and flooding. Is Australia ready?

Dr Erica Kuligowski, Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow  

Topics: evacuation issues and planning, emergency communications, impacts to communities 

Dr Erica Kuligowski is studying evacuation and emergency communications during bushfire, building fires, and other hazards. She has led interdisciplinary research studies of human response to hazards and disasters to improve the safety of people in buildings and communities around the world.   


Dr Mittul Vahanvati, lecturer, sustainability and urban planning 

Topics: climate change, disasters, resilience, housing recovery, vulnerable communities, nature-based solutions to disaster risk reduction 

Dr Mittul Vahanvati’s research focuses on resilience to disasters and climate change, of housing and communities in Asia-Pacific. She has worked with regional and rural communities in Victoria (Australia) to co-produce their own climate resilience action plan.  


Trivess Moore, Senior Lecturer, Property, Construction and Project Management 

Topics: climate resilience, climate risks to housing, housing regulations 

“Summer has not yet started but across Australia we are already experiencing a mix of flooding and bush fires and the forecast is for a hot and dry summer.  

“We need to make sure we prepare our housing and communities now not only for the immediate summer but for those that follow. 

“Recent updates to the National Construction Code will soon make new housing more climate resilient and sustainable although these changes do not go far enough given the uncertain future we face.  

“Existing housing is also a challenge given it falls outside regulations and we need to do more to improve the performance and climate resilience of the whole housing stock. 

“Improving housing performance will not just help with climate resilience but will also reduce energy bills and improve health and wellbeing outcomes for these households. 

“We need to do more to educate housing consumers about their housing decisions.  

“Home energy assessments, such as the Scorecard, can provide households with the likely performance of the dwelling as well as some key opportunities for improving performance through cost-efficient retrofitting.  

“We also need to provide information about climate risks to housing.” 

Dr Trivess Moore’s research focuses on the intersection between technical performance, social impact and policy in relation to how housing, households and the housing sector will transition to a low carbon future.     


Dr Peng Yew Wong, Senior Lecturer, Property, Construction and Project Management  

Topics: housing market, climate change, natural disasters, interest rates, economy 

Dr Peng Yew Wong’s research centres on exploring the key determinants in the Australian and global residential and commercial property markets.     


General media enquiries: RMIT External Affairs and Media, 0439 704 077 or 

Contact details:

Dr Erica Kuligowski: +61 466 200 403 or 

Dr Mittul Vahanvati: +61 404 978 179 or  

Trivess Moore: +61 408 318 182 or  

Dr Peng Yew Wong: +61 9925 1419 or  

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