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Media guidelines for public hearings

Media facilities

Due to COVID-19 public health measures, public hearings will be conducted electronically and live streamed via the Commission’s website. The livestream will include live captioning.

Consistent with the Commission’s Practice Guideline 4 – Virtual Public Hearings:

  • Only the Commissioners, Counsel Assisting, Solicitors Assisting and Commission staff/contractors will be physically present in the hearing room during public hearings.
  • All witnesses summonsed to attend to give evidence at Commission hearings will be required to appear by videolink.  With the Commission's leave, a witness may give evidence by telephone, if a suitable videolink is not available.
  • Legal representatives for any party who are granted leave to appear will be provided with details to access the Commission's video conferencing platform. This will enable legal representatives to view the public hearings in real time.
  • Journalists can request access to exhibits and the live transcripts during the hearings through the online court book by contacting the Royal Commission Media team in advance to arrange access.

Recording and filming at Royal Commission Hearings

Due to COVID-19 public health measures, media attendance in the hearing room is not possible. Audio visual recordings of Commission proceedings are available via the Commission’s website (in addition to livestream)

Non-publication directions

The Royal Commission has powers to direct that evidence not be published. A non-publication direction order may be made, varied and/or lifted during a public hearing. It is the media’s responsibility to comply with any non-publication orders.

Transcripts

Transcripts of public hearings will be made available on the Royal Commission's website following the hearings. The transcript will reflect any relevant non-publication orders.

Accessibility

The Royal Commission has adopted measures to improve accessibility, for example, live captioning of proceedings and website accessibility. We encourage media to do the same and include captions, image descriptions, alt-text, Easy English, and audio descriptions as part of their coverage.

Support

Disturbing and distressing content may emerge during the Royal Commission. We encourage media to include details about support services in their coverage. Lifeline has a dedicated 24 hour bushfire recovery support line 13 HELP (13 43 57).

If you have further questions, please email rcnda.media@royalcommission.gov.au or call 0436 943 411.