With 173 people killed, 414 injured, 2,100 homes destroyed and 7,562 people displaced, the Black Saturday bushfires which raged throughout Victoria in February 2009 were by far the worst natural disaster which that state had experienced in a long time.

Seven months later, a 25-page strategy document published by the Federal Attorney General’s Office focused entirely around resilience and disaster management yet mentioned the word ‘engineering’ only once and barely mentioned the role of the engineering profession in preparing for and managing natural disasters. In a recent article published on…