Lessons to be learned in relation to the Australian bushfire season 2019-20

October 2020

© Commonwealth of Australia 2020
ISBN: 978-1-76093-121-6

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Terms of Reference

List of Recommendations

Chapter 1—Introduction and overview of the 2019-20 bushfire season

  Conduct of the inquiry
  The 2019–20 bushfire season
  The impact of climate change
  The extreme nature of the fires
  Longer bushfire seasons
  Scope of interim report

Chapter 2—Disaster management frameworks

  Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements
  Existing disaster management frameworks
  Emergency Management Australia
  Disaster management arrangements during the 2019–20 bushfire season
  National Bushfire Recovery Agency
  Disaster recovery funding
  Committee views

Chapter 3—Government action and hazard reduction

  Warnings of elevated bushfire risk
  Briefings provided to the Executive
  Hazard reduction and bushfire mitigation
  Committee views

Chapter 4—Human health impacts of the fires

  Physical health impacts
  Mental health impacts
  Committee views

Chapter 5—Wildlife impacts of the fires

  Loss of biodiversity, wildlife and livestock
  Environment and wildlife recovery
  Funding for the environment and wildlife recovery
  Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
  Committee views

Chapter 6—National aerial firefighting capacity

  Australia's aerial firefighting fleet
  Funding of the aerial firefighting fleet
  Leasing of the aerial firefighting fleet
  The need for a sovereign fleet
  Committee views and recommendations

Chapter 7—Insurance impacts of fires

  The cost of natural disasters
  The role of insurance in natural disasters
  Approaches of insurance companies to climate change and climate
  Investing in disaster mitigation
  Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's supervision of the insurance industry
  The affordability of insurance
  Emergency services funding
  Committee views and recommendations

Chapter 8—Communications

  Effective and coordinated emergency communication
  The role of radio broadcasts during bushfire emergencies
  Challenges of broadcasting during emergencies and natural disasters
  Other suggestions for improvement
  Adequacy of existing emergency information systems
  Resilience of communication facilities and network infrastructure
  Committee views and recommendations

Chapter 9—The 2020-21 bushfire season and future analysis

  The 2020-21 bushfire season
  Recovery efforts
  Ongoing mitigation efforts
  Future reports

Coalition Senators Dissenting Report

Additional Comments - Australian Greens

  Evidence to the committee on emissions and bushfires
  The Parliament should declare a climate emergency

Additional Comments - Senator Malcolm Roberts

Appendix 1—Submissions and additional information received by the committee

Appendix 2—Public hearings

Committee Secretariat contact:

Senate Finance and Public Administration Committees
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3846