New ACT map to aid future regional emergency responses

23 February 2005

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A Geoscience Australia mapping project initiated in the wake of the devastating January 2003 bushfires, has delivered emergency workers and the local community with an updated 1:100,000 scale topographic map of the ACT.

Section from the ACT 100k special map. © Geoscience Australia.

Section from the ACT 100k special map.
© Geoscience Australia

The ACT map is part of a cooperative pilot program being undertaken by Geoscience Australia in partnership with State and Territory emergency management and mapping agencies. It addresses both the House of Representatives Select Committee Inquiry into the Operational Response to the January 2003 Bushfires in the ACT, and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Inquiry on Bushfire Management, Prevention and Mitigation in Australia.

One of the main items identified in the course of inquiries was the need for emergency response personnel to have accurate up-to-date maps. Although Geoscience Australia provided fire fighters with the only readily available maps to help in the immediate response to the tragic 2003 bushfires, many of the maps distributed were terribly out of date making it difficult to coordinate the fire fighting response.

Geoscience Australia worked with the ACT Emergency Services Authority to produce the ACT map and subsequent data product which has already been delivered to emergency management workers for planning and operational exercises.

The new map also features enhanced satellite imagery on the back, which provides information on the state of vegetation in the ACT following the fires.

Parliamentary Secretary, Warren Entsch MP joined Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, Gary Nairn MP, and Senator for ACT Gary Humphries in praising the efforts of Geoscience Australia staff in producing the new map.

"Updating the ACT 1:100,000 scale map has been a significant undertaking by Geoscience Australia on behalf of the Australian Government in the wake of the 2003 bushfires," Mr Entsch said.

"The map not only provides emergency service workers with critical information like the location of fire trails, bridges and dams, it also provides other local users with a good overview of the ACT and surrounding region."

The ACT 1:100,000 Topography special map is available from the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre.

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