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Royal commission into bushfire disaster to begin formal hearings this Monday

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Above the NSW emergency operations headquarters during the bushfire disaster. Image courtesy Rural Fire Service. 

The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements will hold its first hearings next week, from Monday 25 May to Friday 5 June 2020.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously said, “The inquiry acknowledges climate change, the broader impact of our summers getting longer, drier and hotter and is focussed on practical action that has a direct link to making Australians safer.

“That’s why we need to look at what actions should be taken to enhance our preparedness, resilience and recovery through the actions of all levels of government and the community, for the environment we are living in. "

This initial round of hearings will focus 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.

Daily themes and the witness list will be published on the commission’s website in advance of hearings.

Transcripts and evidence will be published each day, after proceedings are adjourned.

To comply with current COVID-19 health measures, hearings will be conducted as electronic hearings with proceedings live streamed via the Commission’s website.

Hearings will commence from 10am daily.