Matt Pratten

Matt Pratten

Associate Analyst

13/01/2020

13/01/2020

Australia’s Bushfire Crisis: Fuelling Activism and Disruption

Date/Time of Report: 0828hrs GMT, 13 January 2020

Date/Time of Information: As of 1200hrs GMT, 10 January 2020

 

Summary

Since September 2019, bushfires have been occurring across Australia. Incidents captured by Intelligence Fusion’s analysts have shown the fires are predominantly along Australia’s east coast; stretching from the southern state of Victoria and reaching as far north as Rockhampton, Queensland.

Heat map of the bushfire crisis across Australia in 2019/2020

The quantity of fires and the severity of damage they've been causing has resulted in Intelligence Fusion continuing to monitor the bushfire threat under the theme of ‘Australian Bushfire Crisis 2019-2020’.

As of this report, 89 significant incidents relating to Australia’s bushfires have been recorded.

The latest bushfire incidents that we have mapped include a second ‘mega-blaze’ emerging to the east of Albury in southern NSW and four firefighters recently requiring treatment for heat-related injuries in Shannon's Flat near Adaminaby, NSW. The fires continue to cause widespread damage across the east coast (and across Australia); with reports indicating that weather conditions will exacerbate the current bushfires. 

COMMENT. Commentary amongst various media outlets has mentioned these fires being fuelled by significant amounts of dry/dead foliage on the ground along with policies at local council and state government level of avoiding hazard reduction burns or other prevention measures such as the construction of fire trails. COMMENT ENDS.

Adding to the current bushfire crisis has been a series of protests organised by climate change activists in the Central Business Districts (CBDs) of Melbourne, VIC; Sydney, NSW; Brisbane, QLD; and Hobart, TAS.

These protests also feature in an ongoing theme of global ‘Climate Change Activism’ which Intelligence Fusion has so far logged 243 incidents as of this report. These climate change protests have featured consistent calls for Australia’s Prime Minister to be sacked and for changes to Australia’s energy and economic policies to factor in climate change. At the tactical level, these large protests appear to be causing disruption within the CBDs. However, no available reports have indicated any outbreaks of violence during these protests.

COMMENT. While reports do not indicate any outbreak of violence at this time, the available reports do indicate the size of the crowds have caused disruptions within the Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne CBDs (an example of the effect of the recent Melbourne CBD protests is shown below). Disruptions in these areas can affect operations of Police/Law Enforcement; Transport/Logistics; Tourism; Leisure and Retail sectors. COMMENT ENDS. 

Assessment

Obviously, the current bushfires will doubtfully be brought under control or extinguished in the immediate future; it is probable the fires will continue throughout Australia’s summer with current and future weather conditions along with large amounts of fuel enabling their continued existence and creation of ‘mega-blazes.’ 

As these fires continue it's likely they'll provide justification for further climate change activism within Australia’s capital cities; most likely within the CBDs of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

While the protests do not appear to be violent, the size of the crowds have so far shown they can cause significant disruption across multiple sectors; including but not limited to Police/Law Enforcement, Retail and Transport/Logistics sectors.

With the high probability of the fires continuing, so too is the probability of further climate change protests in the CBDs of capital cities and thus, disruption to multiple sectors which operate within them.

For a deeper assessment or to find out how Intelligence Fusion's award-winning technology can help you track, monitor and respond to the Australia bushfire crisis, speak to a member of the team today. 

 

 

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