Project design and Methods

The project design necessarily coincides in large part with the already finalised national survey design and methodology of the UK study being undertaken by the Cardiff Understanding Risk Research Group. The specifics of the Australian iteration of the survey nonetheless take into account the dramatic differences between Australia and the UK, land mass, geographic distribution of human settlements and population nodes, dramatic differences in regional climates, topographies, and land uses; as well as differing exposures to climate change impacts and natural disaster incidence and impacts. The research involves modification of the Cardiff survey for the Australian context, substituting less relevant content for a strategic examination of comparison risk domains, with particular emphasis on natural disaster risks, and specific differences between understandings and perceptions of climate changes and impacts as contrasted with natural disaster events. The principal methodology is a national survey (n=5000), using random selection within designated postcodes stratified by region, and by gender and age within regions, with probability proportional to size, utilising electronic presentation and completion.

The mode of survey presentation has also been altered to that of an electronic, net-based, survey reflecting obvious distance and logistic constraints, as well as funding availability,
given the very short time frame which has characterised this research opportunity. In addition this research involves components of face-toface interviews (100) and focus group discussions (10) in the SE corner of Qld, and oversampling of this region (1000) to ensure a finer-grained coverage of a region deemed highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and which is currently the focus of a number of other short and longer term climate change studies, maximising the possibility and value of convergent and potentially collaborative research studies and data bases.