Media guidelines for public hearings
Due to COVID-19 public health measures, public hearings were conducted electronically and live-streamed via the Commission’s website. The live-stream included live captioning.
Consistent with the Commission’s Practice Guideline 4 – Virtual Public Hearings:
- Only the Commissioners, Counsel Assisting, Solicitors Assisting and Commission staff/contractors were physically present in the hearing room during public hearings.
- All witnesses summonsed to attend to give evidence at Commission hearings appeared by video link. With the Commission's leave, some witnesses gave evidence by telephone, when a suitable video link was not available.
- Legal representatives for any party who were granted leave to appear were provided with details to access the Commission's video conferencing platform. This enabled legal representatives to view the public hearings in real time.
- Journalists were able to access exhibits and live transcript
sduring the hearing sthrough the online court book.
Recording and filming at Royal Commission Hearings
Due to COVID-19 public health measures, media attendance in the hearing room was not possible. Audio visual recordings of Commission proceedings were available via the Commission’s website (in addition to live-stream)
Royal Commissions have powers to direct that evidence not be published. A non-publication direction order may have been made, varied and/or lifted during a public hearing. Media representatives are still responsible for complying with any non-publication orders.
Transcripts of public hearings are available on the Royal Commission's website. The transcripts reflect any relevant non-publication orders.
The Royal Commission has adopted measures to improve accessibility, for example, captioning 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.
Disturbing and distressing content may have emerged during the Royal Commission. We encourage media to include details about support services in their use. Lifeline has a dedicated 24 hour bushfire recovery support line 13 HELP (13 43 57).
If you have further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0436 943 411.