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Western Australia bushfire prediction program wins national award

Australia's first national bushfire prediction program, 'Aurora', was announced as the winner of the 2013 Regional Category at the national iAwards ceremony held in Melbourne on Thursday 8 August.

The 'Aurora for the Regions' submission identified how this cutting-edge technology will be provided to emergency services in rural, regional and remote Australia via instant access to bushfire simulation maps and prediction tools.

Aurora is the result of a project partnership between Western Australian Government agencies Landgate, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), and the University of Western Australia (UWA). It was partly funded by the Commonwealth Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy through the Digital Regions Initiative.

Landgate Acting Chief Executive Jodi Cant said the Western Australia community should be proud of the collaborative efforts of everyone involved. 

"Aurora is an innovative, technologically advanced and potentially life-saving early warning tool," Ms Cant said.

"This technology integrates 25 years of operational delivery of Landgate's FireWatch system, many years of research by UWA and the experience of the State's professional and volunteer emergency services."

"The award submission not only highlighted the ways in which Aurora will be important to regional and remote communities, it also reflects an excellent example of government agencies and academia working together."

Landgate's Ms Cant said, "With the release soon of the new version of FireWatch, Aurora will continue to evolve as we learn more about how it can assist emergency management agencies, like DFES, to meet their operational needs."

The 'Aurora for the Regions' submission recently won two categories at the Western Australian Information Technology and Telecommunications Awards (WAiTTA), which made it eligible as a finalist for the iAwards. The submission has now been entered into the 2013 Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards to be held in Hong Kong, November 24 – 27.


A case study about Aurora, produced by the Commonwealth Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Aurora, can be viewed here. 

For further information about the iAwards, including a full list of the national winners. The WAiTTA Awards recognise outstanding performance and contributions by members of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) community in Western Australia.

Notes to Editors 

Landgate is Western Australia's primary source of land information and geographic data, providing the accuracy government, business and individuals rely on.

Image available on request.

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