Fax 0352 313823
Ms Karen Harrison
Re Thredbo hearings
Following our telephone conversation. I am resending the documents I
sent to the
As you would appreciate, those original documents (Appendices A1and A2) are hastily drafted questions and comments that could be better put with more time, and in the light of a site visit or closer examination. (Neither of which than I had then or since)
My main reasons for writing are, at least, twofold. I have been extensively involved in coordinating an effective approach to landslide and risk protection for over 20yrs. I am also
very familiar with the practical reasons why institutions and the processes (both public and private) are less effective in this area in the late 1990’s than they were say, a decade ago.
The attached examples of reports to Local Government and Referral Agencies indicate, I hope, the broad range of Local Government, Departmental (Fire, EPA, Parks, Flora, Mines) and private sector (in this case geotechnical) expertise that I coordinated as part of my work during the decade up to 1994.
While we were not always effective as an environmental risk planning
group in the years up to 1994, the only dam
I am also writing, as I did in August 1997, bec
The constant degradation of “the job” from continual restructures in
Lastly, I am also very keen to make some
suggestions on balance issues, bec
I recognise that the balance between government and private sector roles could go to the heart of some of the controversies and important competence issues you may come across.
I also know both sides of the above story and have been effectively operating across the boundaries for decades. A better balance would clearly give more sound briefs to the private and expert sectors on these matters-for one thing. As you are no doubt aware, the private sector and the client can sometimes presume too much about its ability to anticipate environmental problems. Distortions over environmental risks/values commonly create unreal expectations and extreme positioning.
Effectiveness in risk man
I would be happy to answer any questions you have about these complex matters. I am sure you have more than enough to read-by now.
One more important issue remains. Some understanding of the role of
denial is critical in establishing any predisposition to failure in many risk
I have written extensively on the subject since the late 1980’s (If you are interested I can send you more on this).
Attachments ( Author J.Modra)
1. July 31st note to Coronial Inquiry
2. August 1st note to Coronial Inquiry
3. 1984 Regional Guideline on Floods and Natural Disasters
4. Map of Risk areas
5. Overview of Otways slope stability issues.(Some examples)
6. Strategy outline of local NRE roles in development planning coordination.(1992)
7. Copies of planning applications
8. Examples of Newspaper articles on risk assessment and works planning
 At least two new houses have been permitted in the Otways below large and relatively active landslides in 1998. On one of those sites, I stopped development about ten years ago. As we no longer review these things properly, there is now no consistency or protection.