The NSW Government has commissioned an independent expert inquiry into the 2019-20 bushfire season to provide input to NSW ahead of the next bushfire season. Dave Owens APM, former Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police, and Professor Mary O’Kane AC, Independent Planning Commission Chair and former NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, are leading the six-month inquiry, which is reviewing the causes of, preparation for and response to the 2019-20 bushfires.
The Inquiry welcomes submissions from bushfire-affected residents, emergency and support personnel, organisations and the general public. Community meetings are being held online
The NSW Bushfire Inquiry has been travelling to bushfire-affected communities to meet with and directly hear from people who have been affected by the 2019-20 bushfires. The Inquiry has already held community meetings in Lithgow (25 February 2020), Tenterfield (8 March 2020) and Glen Innes (9 March 2020). As the COVID-19 situation prohibits the Inquiry from continuing to visit communities to hold face-to-face meetings, community consultation will now be undertaken via video conference (with an option to participate by phone) to ensure The Inquiry can continue to hear stories directly from community members. The number of participants in each video conference will be capped to ensure everyone gets a chance to share their experience. If demand exceeds capacity, the Inquiry will consider holding additional sessions.
Consultations via video conference have been held for:
Lake Conjola/Fisherman's Paradise (16 April 2020)
Mid North Coast (17 and 23 April 2020)
Snowy Monaro (29 April 2020)
Snowy Valley (29 April 2020)
Shoalhaven (1 May 2020)
Upcoming online community meeting Far South Coast
Date: Wednesday 6 May 2020
Time: 5pm – log on from 4pm
You are strongly encouraged to log on before 5pm to ensure any IT issues (access to video, microphone and participant names) can be addressed before the meeting starts. If you are a resident or property owner in the Bega Valley or Eurobodalla LGAs, please register online. Before the meeting you will receive a link to access the video conference, including dial-in details if you would prefer to participate by phone. Your feedback at this meeting will help to inform the Inquiry's report. If you would like to, please refer to the Inquiry's Terms of Reference. Submissions close Friday 22 May 2020
The deadline for submissions was initially extended from 27 March to 17 April 2020 to allow additional time for people and organisations who may have been affected by the COVID-19 situation. As community meetings have successfully transitioned to an online format, the Inquiry has further extended the submissions deadline to Friday 22 May 2020 to align with the period of online community consultation. Further extensions will not be granted, except in exceptional circumstances to those who have been directly impacted by the bushfires. Please note that if you put in a submission after the due date, The Inquiry will do their best but cannot guarantee it will be considered before the Inquiry provides its final report to the Premier. Submissions will be published prior to the Inquiry reporting to the Premier. Use the online form HERE to make a submission. You can also provide your feedback by:
Post: NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry, GPO Box 5341, Sydney NSW 2001
Phone: If you have limited computer or internet access you can make a submission over the phone by calling the Bushfire Customer Care program on 13 77 88