• Disaster response and recovery

    Government agencies use ABR data to help and provide support for their communities, the environment, infrastructure and the economy during times of disaster.

    The following case studies show how we have used ABR data to help communities:

    Note: If you have had success using ABR data and would you like to share your story with other agencies, contact the ABR.

    Case study 1: Looking after local businesses comes naturally to Ipswich City Council with the help of ABR Explorer data

    ABR data helped Ipswich City Council contact local businesses after a severe storm passed through Ipswich in December 2016.

    The Ipswich region gets its fair share of natural disasters, so the Economic Development team were well prepared. Using the email addresses contained in the ABR data an email was promptly sent to local businesses informing them to contact the council for immediate assistance.

    Ipswich is in the top 20 of Australia’s fastest growing areas and is the fastest growing city in Queensland. It has a large manufacturing and construction industry which supports the city and the surroundings areas.

    A spokesperson for the council said being prepared for these events and keeping in contact with the local community in a timely manner after the storm meant they could assist businesses that requested immediate help and give advice on the various local government assistance programs available.

    In addition to receiving positive feedback from the business community, the council also gathered valuable information based on the email response rate.

    Case study 2: Using ABR data to help manage a biological hazard – Banana freckle

    Australian Business Register (ABR) information was recently provided to the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPIF) Northern Territory to assist with the containment of an outbreak of banana freckle, a fungal disease threatening the NT banana industry. The disease was detected in NT in 2013.

    Banana freckle causes blemishes on the fruit, reducing its commercial value. Although it is not a new disease in Australia, it is a declared disease under the NT’s Plant Health Act 2008 and is a serious threat to the Top End’s banana industry.

    To avoid further spread of the disease, a quick quarantine response was required. The first step was to identify businesses in the NT that were connected with the banana industry. Staff from the DPIF contacted the ABR disaster response team requesting data that might be able to assist with their response.

    To help identify potentially affected businesses, information on the register was refined by location and by using the relevant Australian New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC) codes.

    This information was used to create a specialised ABR data extract which was provided to the DPIF in an excel spreadsheet, with a pivot table summary of statistical counts, for ease of use.

    The ABR information helped the DPIF establish the size of the response required. It also provided a starting point for making contact with relevant businesses.

    Using ABR data, the NT Government was able to respond quickly to the hazard, ensuring the disease did not spread to larger commercial banana growing regions in Australia.

    Due to the positive outcome, the DPIF is currently looking at how ABR information can be used in other day-to-day business operations.

    See also:

    Case study 3: ABR data providing assistance in disaster and emergencies - Geoscience Australia

    ABR data is used to assist Geoscience Australia (GA) in providing spatial support and advice to the Crisis Coordination Centre (CCC). The CCC is an all-hazards, 24/7 facility located within Emergency Management Australia (EMA); they provide and coordinate Australian government assistance during disaster and emergency events.

    In providing assistance during an event, EMA need to have an understanding of the demographics and location of buildings, businesses, institutions, agricultural, and infrastructure sites situated within an event footprint, geographical boundary or potentially threatened area. To assist EMA, GA uses extracted ABR data to design the Geoscience Australia Exposure Report that quickly documents this information for the CCC to use.

    The data extracted for the report includes the ANZSIC codes within an area of interest that is then broken down into industry subdivisions to align the business types with the National Disaster Relief & Recovery categories for financial assistance.

    Geoscience Australia is impressed with how they have been able to use ABR data at absolutely no cost to greatly improve the timeliness and accuracy of information used by the CCC.

    The resulting exposure report provided to the CCC has greatly enhanced the government’s ability to make quick decisions, provide timely responses to disaster events and assists in understanding the extent of industry sectors that may qualify for financial assistance for recovery. 

    • Last modified: 05 Dec 2018QC 572