Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4354 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
As a forestry officer grade 1 he was also in charge of the Forest Research Institute fire control subsection, where he did research between 1965 and 1972 into fire behaviour and fire control, and that included the development of prescribed burning guides and the application of aerial prescribed burning for fuel reduction in mountain forests. At the same time, he also managed to do a bit of study in his own right and in 1973 he received his degree in forestry, a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, from the University of Melbourne.
Between 1972 and 1974 he moved on to be in charge of the fire research subsection at the Forest Research Institute where he supervised research into the fire behaviour of various fuel types, including dry sclerophyll forests, pinus radiata plantations, tropical open woodlands, as well as sugarcane.
But not content with running the research, he also taught. From 1971 to 1974 he was a lecturer in a part-time capacity at the Australian National University's forestry department. He taught forestry fire control, unit D17-I am sure all of the foresters who have been through the ANU would remember-to third year students studying for their degree in Bachelor of Science (Forestry).
Then he moved to the CSIRO. In 1975 through to 1980 he was a senior research scientist in the CSIRO's Division of Forest Research, where he carried out research into fire behaviour and spread mechanisms in grassland and forest fuels. He was also a consultant to other scientists in the CSIRO, undertaking fire effect research on various ecotypes ranging from alpine woodlands to arid zone woodlands.
From there he moved on. From 1981 to 1985 he was the senior research scientist and project leader of Project Aquarius. Those who have had any contact with bushfire fighting in Australia would know about Project Aquarius. It was a specially funded project to investigate the effectiveness of large air tankers in Australia. Research included investigations into the behaviour of high intensity fires; suppression effectiveness of various chemical fire retardants; the psychological performance of firefighters; as well as other areas.
After that, from 1985 through to 1989 Phil was still at the CSIRO Division of Forest Research. He became the Principal Research Scientist. He was also the Director of the National Bushfire Research Unit, a mission orientated research program within the Division of Forest Research which received support from the CSIRO and outside agencies.
The unit had seven professional, six technical, as well as administrative staff. The unit carried out research in four main areas, which were: research into fire behaviour to understand how bushfires spread in the natural environment; research on suppression technology; research on fire meteorology; and research on management systems. The unit also provided experts to carry out consultancies in these areas.
The unit was incorporated into the Division of Forestry and Forest Products in 1989 as part of the internal restructuring of the CSIRO, which leads us to the period 1989 to the present where, as part of the CSIRO Division of Forestry and Forest Products, Phil Cheney was the Senior Principal Research Scientist and project leader on bushfire