A history of the Prepare, Stay and Defend or Leave Early policy in Victoria

Reynolds, B 2017, A history of the Prepare, Stay and Defend or Leave Early policy in Victoria, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title A history of the Prepare, Stay and Defend or Leave Early policy in Victoria
Author(s) Reynolds, B
Year 2017
Abstract This thesis comprises an historical examination of the ‘Stay or Go’ policy of bushfire safety in Australia, with a particular focus on the state of Victoria, Australia. The bushfire management strategy practised in Victoria is unusual, in that public safety advice recommends residents take responsibility for deciding their response to a threatening fire. This approach is based on the belief that it is the most effective way to prevent losses. At one time it was heralded by the United Nations for saving lives and property, and empowering those at risk. In the 1990s, the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) formalised this model into a variety of community training and education programs. It went on to become the national policy position, with the Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) advising residents to choose whether to ‘Prepare, Stay and Defend’ their house from fires, or to ‘Prepare and Leave Early’, before the fire threatens. This approach, colloquially known as ‘Stay or Go’, stands against public safety strategies in other national contexts where residents are ordered or encouraged to evacuate from fire-grounds, and/or fire-fighting is viewed as the responsibility of the state. This thesis demonstrates that the selection of Stay or Go as policy cannot be properly understood without considering how it emerged historically from a number of different developmental pathways. The importance of such historical analysis is often overlooked in bushfire research in Australia, which has tended to take an individualist, community or psychological focus. This thesis aims to address this narrow focus by providing a thorough background to the development of the Stay or Go policy in the context of Victoria.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Subjects Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services not elsewhere classified
Public Policy
Keyword(s) Emergency management
Bushfire
Public policy
Policy development
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Created: Thu, 13 Jul 2017, 09:33:52 EST by Adam Rivett
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