In another first, the new cutting-edge technology platform designed and developed by Nova Systems (formally Geoplex) with partners will deliver nationally consistent data for calculating fire danger ratings and importantly, standardise the way information is captured and published.
Previously, individual states used varying methods to capture fire danger rating data and the system was not consistent among jurisdictions.
Fire danger ratings are a critical tool used to minimize the impact of bushfires and manage risk to life and property.
The overhaul follows recommendations from the 2009 Black Saturday Royal Commission. In 2020, the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements recommended the implementation be expediated in response to catastrophic bushfires across Australia in 2019-20.
Jim McDowell, CEO Nova Systems
The Australian and New Zealand Emergency Management Committee commissioned AFAC (the National Council for fire and emergency services), the Bureau of Meteorology and the NSW Rural Fire Service to build the new Australian Fire Danger Rating System. During the development of the AFDRS, Nova Systems were engaged by the NSW Rural Fire Service to build the web portals to support the system.
The result is a national unified system that delivers accurate, timely and consistent fire danger rating information.
Nova Systems General Manager Geospatial Jim McDowell said the Nova Systems geospatial team was tasked with the critical delivery of the new live systems.
“Our talented team of software developers at Nova Systems contributed to key components of the new AFDRS – such as the Fuel State Editor to input data, and the Fire Danger Viewer to view data – delivering vital web portals that support the new Australian Fire Danger Rating System for the benefit of all Australians for generations to come,” Mr McDowell said.
“The new technology platform enables the latest science, technology and data to be used to produce accurate and timely fire danger information.”
Mr McDowell said the new system was “vital”.
“The new system enables more meaningful fire danger ratings and warnings and allows continuous improvement through incorporation of new biophysical and social sciences knowledge as it becomes operationally applicable,” Mr McDowell said.