top of page

French delegation on Bushfire management in Australia

From 26 to 29 June, a French delegation of industry, research organisations and civil security representatives went to Australia. Initiated by Dr Sebastien Lahaye (Safe Cluster), co-leader of the AFRAN Bushfire and Natural Hazards community, in partnership with Business France and the Embassy of France in Australia, this delegation came to discover and cooperate with the Australian Bushfire management ecosystem. High-level meetings and very promising exchanges took place.

  • A relevant French delegation

The French delegation, included civil security representatives, large consortia of actors in the bushfire management ecosystem, researchers, and directors and CEOs of companies.

Jean-François Coulson, Liaison officer at the Embassy of France in Australia, and Jean-Michel Dumaz, Civil Protection and Crisis Management Attaché at the Embassy of France in Singapore, were representing the French civil security.

Three French consortia participated in the visits:

  • SAFE cluster is a French hub, positioned in the Security, Safety, Defense & Aerospace sectors for risk management and resilience. It gathers around 500 members including innovative companies, research and academic partners, but also practitioners,

  • Entente Valabre is the French hub for Information and prevention against forest fires, training in Civil Security specialties, testing and research at the service of practitioners and new technologies and geomatics

  • FFMI is the French Federation of Fire Trades, a professional federation bringing together the players in the fire safety professions in France.

The research organisations were:

  • INRAE the French Institute for research in Agriculture, Food and the Environment,

  • INP Toulouse the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse is a public scientific, cultural and professional establishment

The industries represented in the delegation were:

  • AIRBUS HELICOPTER provide helicopter solutions for emergency services in demanding environments,

  • SOLER, a pioneer company in the production of renewable carbon and a major player in the development of biorefineries

  • Angatec, specialised in the design of operational assistance and fire-fighting robots,

  • Citaf provides flexible solutions for storage of liquids,

  • Crisis VR offers simulation software for risk and emergency to train operational staff, decision-makers and technicians,

  • XSUN, designer and operator of long-range solar drones.

This delegation has received a very positive welcome from all the partners in Australia, from States and federal agencies, as well as from research and private organisations and emergency services.

  • Promising exchanges

From a political point of view, discussions were held with the governments of the NSW and the ACT, which presented their state’s strategy on firefighting and fire resilience. The Commissioner of International Relations, as well as the Director of Government Procurement of the ACT, welcomed the delegation and introduced it to the system of public calls so that French industries could participate. At the federal level, National Emergency Management Australia, represented by Dr Rina Bruinsma, Deputy General Coordinator for the Resilience and Disaster Rehabilitation Group, stressed international cooperation ties at the reception at the Embassy.

From an operational point of view, the various emergency services of the two States presented their activities, as well as their technological needs and opportunities for cooperation. Present in Sydney were the NSW Rural Fire Service and the Fire and Rescue NSW; and in Canberra, the ACT Emergency Services Agency, the ACT Fire and Rescue, the ACT Rural Fire Services, the ACT Parks and Conservation, and the Country Fire Authority from Victoria.

At the federal level, the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authority Council, represented by its CEO Mr Rob Webb, and the National Aerial Firefighting Centre, represented by its Deputy Director Ms Josephine Stirling, participated fully in the discussions.

Finally, from a scientific and economic point of view, the French delegation met in Sydney with the Chief Scientist of the NSW State, the NSW Bushfire and Natural Hazards Research Centre of the University of Western Sydney, and the Minderoo Foundation. In Canberra, a specific workshop was organized within the Australian Federal Research Agency, CSIRO, which brought together Australian research organizations in the sector: CSIRO, UNSW Bushfire Research Group, ANU-Optus Bushfire Research Centre of Excellence, Bureau of Meteorology, and Natural Hazards Research Australia.

It emerged from the discussions that the Australian firefighting ecosystem is well integrated, with effective links between researchers, policy makers and emergency services. The tools that have been in place since 2019 allow for a coordinated national approach.

This event generated a lot of interest and allowed the Bushfire AFRAN community to establish very promising relationships with Australian stakeholders.


bottom of page