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Bushfire program wins Premier’s Award

Australia's first online national bushfire spread simulation program, 'Aurora', was announced the winner of the 2014 'Revitalising the Regions' Category at the prestigious Western Australian Premier's Awards held last night.

The Aurora submission identified how this cutting-edge technology provides emergency services in rural, regional and remote Australia with instant access to bushfire simulation maps and prediction tools, which help protect the community and industry operating in regional and remote Western Australia.

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 then Commonwealth Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy through the Digital Regions Initiative.

Landgate Chief Executive Mike Bradford was thrilled the agency had won the coveted award.

"The people of Western Australia should be extremely proud of the collaborative efforts of
everyone involved," Mr Bradford said.

"Aurora is an innovative, technologically advanced and potentially life-saving early warning tool. This technology integrates over two decades 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."

Mr Bradford said receiving the Premier's Award not only highlighted the ways in which Aurora is important to regional and remote communities, it also reflected an excellent example of government agencies and academia working together.

At the awards ceremony, Mr Bradford also spoke about two of Landgate's recently released new and improved versions of FireWatch, known as MyFireWatch and Firewatch Pro.

MyFireWatch aims to meet the fire information needs of the broader community and FirewatchPro is aimed at land managers and those who want additional tools and more spatial information around bushfire.

"Aurora will continue to evolve as we learn more about how it can assist emergency management agencies, such as DFES, to meet their operational requirements."

Aurora has won many other state, national and international awards, including an Asia Pacific Information and Communication Technology Alliance award in 2013.

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.

Go to Landgate's Firewatch website -

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