In accordance with the Federal Government’s health advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements is working to adjust its operations.
Current social distancing requirements mean it is no longer possible for the Commission to conduct its work face-to-face without exposing the community to unnecessary risk.
The Commissioners are committed to ensuring this important work continues and will use the technology available to further consult and gather information within the public health guidelines. This means examining options for digital, rather than in-person engagement.
In line with current health advice to limit public gatherings, the Commission has also suspended its community forums to help prevent any potential exposure to the virus.
As a result, the Commission will extend the public submission period by two weeks to 17 April 2020.
The Commission will continue to monitor and assess the risk in line with public health advice.
The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, sometimes known as the ‘Bushfire Royal Commission’, is examining how Australia is prepared and coordinated across the Commonwealth, States and Territories to respond to bushfires and other natural disasters as well as mitigation and recovery.
Throughout March, Chair Mark Binskin AC and Commissioners Annabelle Bennett AC SC and Professor Andrew Macintosh visited South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia to speak with fire affected communities and observe firsthand the effects of the recent bushfires.
The Commissioners met with a small group of people in each location who were representative of the communities affected by the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires.
Community forums planned for the ACT, Tasmania and NSW Hunter region as well as the Wingecaribee, Queanbeyan-Palerang and Toowong local government areas cannot go ahead.
The Commission is exploring options to hold discussions with aerial firefighters on 14 April 2020.
If you would like to nominate to participate, please download the expression of interest form. Further information will be provided once arrangements are finalised.
The Royal Commission is currently inviting submissions. Individuals, community groups and the broader community can make submissions on the 2019-20 bushfire season.
You can make a submission online or call 1800 909 826 to make a submission over the phone.
Submissions will close on Friday, 17 April 2020.
The Royal Commission has visited the following locations:
- Adelaide Hills, South Australia - Tuesday 3 March 2020
- Kangaroo Island, South Australia - Wednesday 4 March 2020
- Lithgow, New South Wales – Wednesday 11 March 2020
- Marcoola, Queensland – Wednesday 11 March 2020
- Tenterfield, New South Wales – Thursday 12 March 2020
- Casino, New South Wales – Thursday 12 March 2020
- Darwin, Northern Territory – Thursday 12 March 2020
- Swan Valley, Western Australia – Friday 13 March 2020
- Ulladulla, New South Wales – Tuesday 17 March 2020
- Batemans Bay, New South Wales – Wednesday 18 March 2020
- Bega, New South Wales – Wednesday 18 March 2020
- Eden, New South Wales – Thursday 19 March 2020
- Mallacoota, Victoria – Thursday 19 March 2020
- Orbost, Victoria – Friday 20 March 2020
- Tumbarumba, New South Wales – Friday 20 March 2020