Bushfire Royal Commission: our submissions
Following the devastating bushfire season of 2019-20, the Royal Commission will aim to investigate our national preparedness to respond, and how we can mitigate the impact of future natural disasters.
Currently underway, the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements will investigate the extreme bushfire season of 2019-20, the worst bushfire season in Australian history.
Often referred to as the ‘Bushfires Royal Commission’, it will examine coordination, preparedness for, response to and recovery from disasters as well as improving resilience and adapting to changing climatic conditions and mitigating the impact of natural disasters. The inquiry will also consider the legal framework for Commonwealth involvement in responding to national emergencies.
University of Melbourne experts, including MSSI researchers have compiled and entered formal submissions into the Royal Commission, drawing on their recent research.
Bushfire prevention and coordination
This submission addresses the need for coordination between multiple stakeholders, in order to adequately prevent and respond to bushfires. Including:
- climate change impacts and emissions reduction
- integration of emergency management and urban and regional planning
- the need to integrate policy on bushfire and environmental management in the light of Australia’s rapid loss of species
- the need to integrate policy between bushfires and regional economies, such as around tourism.
This submission strongly argues for a platform of policies around the prevention of wildfire ignition. Such an approach is likely to reduce the occurrence and the severe impact of bushfire on the Australian community.
This submission comes from a collective of Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics, experts in a range of facets around Indigenous fire usage (Cultural Burning), Indigenous Land Management and livelihoods, fire behaviour and ecology. This submission argues for the need to invest in Indigenous Land Management, caring for country and cultural burning practices. Governments across Australia must work in partnership with Indigenous communities, in order to build Australia’s resilience to natural bushfire disasters.
These University of Melbourne experts have also entered submissions into the (Victorian) Inquiry into the 2019-2020 Victorian Fire Season, which will specifically examine Victoria’s preparedness for the fire season, response to fires in large parts of Victoria's North East, Gippsland, and Alpine regions, and will review relief and recovery efforts.