THE nation's bushfire research body should be replaced because it's set to run out of government funding, Greens MP Adam Bandt says.The Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre examines the social, environmental and economic impacts of bushfires.
It's funded on a project-by-project basis by the commonwealth until June 30, 2013, at which point its fate remains uncertain.
Mr Bandt says the body should be replaced with a new national fire institute which will ensure it's work continues.
"It's time to transfer to a national body . . . to oversee Australia's preparedness to deal with major fires, with the growing risk of climate change meaning more frequent fires of greater severity," Mr Bandt said.
The risk of losing the body would be not having an accurate national response to major fire emergencies, he said.
"We are potentially going to face a Black Saturday every year or two, and that's a terrifying prospect," Mr Bandt said.
The body's chief executive Gary Morgan welcomed the idea, saying its work was far from finished and there was still a lot more needed to understand a range of issues, including how to manage volunteers, smoke management, creating models to prevent fire risk and better biodiversity management.