Time to make community submissions to Bushfires Royal Commission

Community members now have the chance to make submissions to the Federal Government’s Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, also known as the Bushfires Royal Commission.

Submissions to the Royal Commission are open until Friday, 3 April 2020.

Hawkesbury City Council is encouraging community members to make submissions and to assist this, Council is making a room available on Tuesday, 24 March from 9am to 7pm that has computers, NBN internet connection, a printer and a Council staff member on hand for any assistance needed.

It will be held on Tuesday, 24 March from 9am to 7pm at the Hawkesbury Digital Domain (on the left of the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery entrance), 1st floor Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor. Toilets and wheelchair access available including lift.

The 24 March session will allow people to prepare their submissions either online or as paper copies. Submission can be made by individuals, community groups, organisations and the broader community.

Royal Commission submissions can be made at https://naturaldisaster.royalcommission.gov.au/submissions

or call 1800 909 826 to make a Royal Commission submission over the phone or to request a hard copy form.

Council is also making hard copy submission forms for the Federal Government’s Royal Commission available at various locations in the Hawkesbury including Council’s Administration Building, Hawkesbury Central Library Windsor, Richmond Branch Library and central locations in Colo, Bilpin, Kurrajong, Kurrajong Heights and St Albans.

Community Submission Session

What: Community Submissions for Bushfires – Royal Commission

Date: Tuesday, 24 March

Time: 9am to 7pm

Where: Hawkesbury Digital Domain (on the left of the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery entrance)

1st floor Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor

Background

Royal Commission

The Federal Government’s Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements is occurring concurrently with the NSW Government’s Independent Inquiry into the 2019/2020 bushfires. The Royal Commission's Terms of Reference explicitly direct it to avoid duplication of other inquiries, previous inquiries and reports into similar events.

The Royal Commission is examining how Australia is prepared and coordinated across the Commonwealth, States and Territories to respond to bushfires and other natural disasters as well as mitigation and recovery.

The Royal Commission will also focus on building resilience to natural disasters, along with measures to adapt to the changing climate. This will include an assessment of how traditional land and fire management practices of Indigenous Australians could improve Australia's resilience to natural disasters.

There will also be a consideration of a national system of standards for land management such as hazard reduction, species conservation, and land-use planning, zoning and development approvals, species conservation wildlife management. This could have implications for land use and zoning.

The Royal Commission will consider:

  • State or Territory requests for federal assistance, including requests thresholds, and obstacles that may affect them
  • the possibility of creating a Commonwealth power to declare a national emergency, along with how such a national declaration would interact with State and Territory emergency frameworks
  • the coordination of Federal, State and Territory resources in relation to ‘natural disasters’, along with whether the Federal Government should have the power to declare a ‘national emergency’ and if such action would include deploying the Australia Defence Force.

The Royal Commission will not expressly focus on the extent to which climate change contributes to natural disasters.

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