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The Commission is holding hearings to gather evidence about coordination, preparedness for, response to and recovery from disasters as well as improving resilience and adapting to changing climatic conditions and mitigating the impact of natural disasters. The Commission will also consider the legal framework for Commonwealth involvement in responding to national emergencies.

The first phase of public hearings commenced on Monday, 25 May 2020.

These hearings focused on the 2019-2020 bushfire season, and the Commonwealth's responsibilities relating to natural disasters.

The Commission will continue its public hearings with Hearing Block 2 in Canberra, commencing Tuesday, 16 June 2020.

The information provided during the Royal Commission hearings will assist the Commission in its work. The Commission will contact people who are expected to appear as witnesses in advance of the relevant hearing.

Hearings are conducted electronically in accordance with Practice Guideline 4.

All hearings of the Royal Commission are recorded and streamed live on the Commission website.

A person who is requested to give evidence before the Commission may receive legal and financial and welfare support.

Further information about the support available before, during and after the hearing is in the Commission’s Guide for Witnesses.

The Commissioners have issued the following Practice Guidelines to assist parties, witnesses and members of the public involved with the Royal Commission.

Practice Guideline 1 – Conduct of Hearings

Practice Guideline 2 – Leave to Appear and Witnesses

Practice Guideline 3 – Legal Professional Privilege

Practice Guideline 4 – Virtual Public Hearings

This Protocol sets out the means and format in which electronic documents are to be produced to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

Document Management Protocol

If you have questions about this Royal Commission including the submission process, you can contact:

The information line operates from 9:00am-5:00pm (AEST) Monday-Friday except public holidays.

This phone line and email service can assist you with your questions about the Royal Commission including the submission process or future hearings.

Please note that staff are not equipped to assist with welfare or general enquiries about bushfire recovery efforts.

If you were affected by recent fires and require assistance, Lifeline has a dedicated 24 hour bushfire recovery support line 13 HELP (13 43 57) and the National Bushfire Recovery Agency has information about a broad range of organisations and services who are available to support you.

The Royal Commission can also assist with language services.