On 5 February 2020, the Senate referred the inquiry into lessons to be learned in relation to the preparation and planning for, response to and recovery efforts following the 2019-20 Australian bushfire season to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by Thursday, 2 December 2021.
On 19 March 2020 the committee agreed to extend the submission deadline from 9 April 2020. The closing date for submissions is now 22 May 2020.
On 7 October 2020, the committee tabled a substantive interim report.
On 11 December 2020, the committee re-opened submissions to the inquiry. The committee invites submissions, or supplementary submissions, by 11 February 2021.
The committee has a particular interest in:
- Hazard reduction – including existing hazard reduction practices (the possibilities for future hazard reduction regimes) and indigenous burning practices and their efficacy.
- The 2019-20 bushfire season – and the level of recovery one year on (including the progress and status of recovery efforts).
- Mitigation infrastructure and land-use planning – including an assessment of the types (and costs) of mitigation infrastructure that would effectively reduce risk in fire-prone areas.
- Insurance issues – the effects of fires on insurance premiums in fire affected regions (one year on from the 2019-20 fire season).
- Aerial firefighting – including the establishment of a sovereign aerial firefighting fleet, the use of aerial resources and early suppression.