Social distancing requirements meant it was not possible for the Commission to conduct its work face-to-face without exposing the community to unnecessary risk.
The Commissioners were committed to ensuring the important work of the Royal Commission continued using the technology available to further consult and gather information using digital, rather than in-person engagement.
Visit the Coronavirus COVID-19 information page to read more.
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.
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
Community forums planned for the ACT, Tasmania and NSW Hunter region as well as the Wingecaribee, Queanbeyan-Palerang and Toowong local government areas could not go ahead, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
General public submissions closed on Tuesday 28 April 2020. These are available to view on the Published submissions page.
The 2019-20 Bushfire History Project
The 2019-20 Bushfire History Project closed on Wednesday 28 October 2020. To view a selection of photographs visit the Bushfire History Project page.