The House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment has commenced an inquiry into the efficacy of past and current vegetation and land management policy, practice and legislation and their effect on the intensity and frequency of bushfires and subsequent risk to property, life and the environment.
On launching the inquiry, Chair of the Committee, Mr Ted O’Brien MP, said that ‘many communities across Australia had experienced or were still in the grip of a bushfire crisis’.
‘We are currently experiencing a difficult, dangerous and potentially prolonged bushfire season’, he said.
‘We feel for our fellow Australians both impacted by, and trying to control, these devastating fires.
‘The new inquiry provides an opportunity to better understand the practices relating to vegetation and land management, legislative frameworks, economic impact, mitigation strategies and the engagement of emergency services.
‘The Committee understands people will have very passionate views about this, particularly in light of the current bushfire season. We look forward to hearing all views and accessing all the evidence put before us.’
The Committee’s inquiry is in response to Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud. It will have particular regard to matters including:
- past and current practices of land and vegetation management;
- the impact of current legislation and regulatory responses for landholders;
- the scientific basis behind relevant bushfire management activities;
- legislative capability at the local, state and federal levels requiring landholders to reduce fire risk on properties;
- the economic impact of severe fires in urban, regional, rural and remote areas;
- the progress and implementation of various state reviews over the last decade; and
the engagement of emergency services with land management officials in managing fire risk.
If you would like to contribute to the inquiry, you can make a submission. Submissions to the inquiry will be accepted until 28 February 2020. The Committee intends to hold public hearings at various locations, which will be announced in due course on the inquiry website.
Submissions must address the inquiry’s terms of reference, which are available along with details on how to make a submission on the inquiry website.
Mr Ted O’Brien MP (Fairfax, QLD), Committee Chair
Media Advisor, 0401 257 064
For background information:
House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy
(02) 6277 4580