The Commission held 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 also considered the legal framework for Commonwealth involvement in responding to national emergencies.
The information provided during the Royal Commission hearings assisted the Commission in its work.
Hearings were conducted electronically in accordance with Practice Guideline 4.
All hearings of the Royal Commission were recorded and streamed live and are available to view on the Commission website.
Hearing Block 4 – Canberra
Hearing Block 4 for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements was held in Canberra during the week commencing 21 September 2020.
During the course of the hearings, the Commission focused on the role of:
- national information systems and coordination
- a declaration of a national emergency
- a single resilience, relief and recovery agency within the Australian government
in ensuring Australia’s disaster coordination arrangements are the best they can be.
For more information, please see the following media release: Royal Commission entering final hearing week.
Hearing Block 3 – Canberra
Hearing Block 3 for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements was held in Canberra from Monday, 3 August 2020. This third round of hearings focused on national coordination, including:
- Situational awareness
- Decision making
- Resource sharing
- Response to COVID-19
Hearing Block 2 – Canberra
Hearing Block 2 for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements was held in Canberra commencing Tuesday, 16 June 2020. This second round of hearings focused on:
- Hazard reduction
- Local government
- State and territory governments
- Australian Government
Hearing Block 1 – Canberra
Hearing Block 1 for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements was held in Canberra from Monday, 25 May 2020.
This initial round of hearings was focused on:
- The changing global climate and natural disaster risks.
- The impact of the 2019-20 bushfires on communities, and the built and natural environments.
- Responsibilities of the Commonwealth in relation to natural disaster arrangements.
The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements commenced its proceedings with an online Ceremonial Hearing on Thursday, 16 April 2020.