Shire of Dardanup draws crowd to Bunbury for conference

About 200 experts, employees and volunteers involved in Emergency Management gathered in Bunbury this week for an industry-leading conference designed to tackle the increasing threat to communities of unprecedented weather events driven by climate change and organised by the Shire of Dardanup.

Delegates travelled to Bunbury for the event from as far away as Coolgardie and Ashburton as well as Perth and across the South West and Great Southern regions.

An impressive line-up of speakers and leading thinkers addressed the topic of “Building capacity to adapt to an era of unprecedented disasters’ through both in person and virtual presentations with several contributors located in the eastern states.

In addition to those attending the event in person at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre were many more who purchased tickets to join in the discussion via a live stream.

Minister for Emergency Services the Hon. Reece Whitby MLA opened the conference.

“Western Australia has a range of hazards including bushfires, cyclones, floods and storms that we need to prepare for, respond to and recover from.” Minister Whitby said. “A regional conference of this size has not taken place for some time – it is a great achievement.”

During his address, Shire President Mick Bennett acknowledged the range of agencies and organisations represented at the conference including:

  • Department of Fire & Emergency Services

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  • Police
  • St John Ambulance
  • WALGA
  • Industry such as South 32
  • Water Corporation
  • Universities
  • Local Governments
  • And small business.

“On a more personal note, I am filled with pride as the Dardanup Shire President and Chairman of our Local Emergency Management Committee that the Shire of Dardanup has assumed a leadership role in this regard,” Cr Bennett said.

“Developing the conference concept, attracting funding support which has been generously provided by the State Emergency Management Committee’s AWARE Grants Program and then working to convert that conference vision to this reality.”

Here is a selection of comments received as feedback since the event…

“The selection of guest speakers was the best I have heard in a long time…different perspective on Emergency Management and their level of knowledge and statistics gave me food for thought.”

“We have not seen a conference of this calibre in the South West in some time.”

“Wow!! Can’t wait to see what Dardanup can deliver next time.”

“It covered a lot of ground with world class presenters.”

“Professionally conducted from start to finish.”

“Well put together program…It flowed perfectly…The speakers really complemented each other.”

“Seamless transition between the speakers both virtual and in person.”