Risk Frontiers, Australia’s longest running natural hazards research centre, is spinning out from Macquarie University after a successful partnership of 23 years.
The ‘new’ Risk Frontiers will continue to provide the rigorous, science-based advice that clients have come to expect. Strong relationships forged with key academics at Macquarie University will be maintained with the creation of a Risk Frontiers Research Fellowship Fund for joint collaborative research in natural hazards, as well as new endeavours in cyber security.
At the time of the 2011 Brisbane floods, few insurance companies offered cover for damage arising from riverine flood: now, because of Risk Frontiers’ involvement in the development of the National Flood Information Database for the Insurance Council of Australia, some 93% of property owners are covered for this risk. The ICA’s General Manager (Risk) Karl Sullivan sees this ‘sea change’ as a success, not only for the insurance sector, but “in making communities more resilient in the face of a key natural peril threat.” Amongst its many contributions to the insurance sector, Karl complements Risk Frontiers on its “courageous and insightful” work in respect to understanding the societal drivers of the rising economic costs of natural disasters, the relative contribution of climate change toward this increasing cost, and the key role played by poor landuse-planning decisions. This body of research laid the foundations for the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Natural Disaster Funding arrangements.
The company’s CEO, Professor John McAneney, pledges that Risk Frontiers will continue to deliver thought leadership and high-level solutions and services for key industry, government and emergency management clients. In its new guise, there will be an even greater focus on creating innovative commercial solutions to natural peril and other extreme risks.
According to the Macquarie University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Professor Sakkie Pretorius, “Risk Frontiers’ cutting-edge catastrophic risk modelling has had a material impact on the way natural disaster risks are priced and managed in this country. It serves as a wonderful example of genuine engagement by academia with the private and government sectors resulting in tangible science-led outcomes.”
Christopher Lee, CEO of Climate-KIC Australia describes Risk Frontiers as “the leading supplier of risk advice, models and data to government, insurance and emergency management. They bring wide-ranging expertise to a suite of complex problems and are able to provide pragmatic solutions that meet multiple stakeholder needs” and he looks forward to “continuing to work with them in this new chapter.”
This sentiment is echoed by Dr Richard Thorton, CEO, Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC. “I congratulate Risk Frontiers on its decision to spin out from Macquarie University and look forward to ongoing research relationships with the new Risk Frontiers.”