Premier announces NSW independent bushfire inquiry

Published: 30 Jan 2020

Released by: The Premier

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has today announced an independent expert inquiry into the 2019-20 bushfire season to provide input to NSW ahead of the next bushfire season.

Dave Owens, former Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police, and Professor Mary O’Kane AC, Independent Planning Commission Chair and former NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, will lead the six-month inquiry, which will review the causes of, preparation for and response to the 2019-20 bushfires.

“Professor O’Kane and Mr Owens have an extraordinary breadth and depth of experience into the matters they will be examining. I am confident their inquiry will be comprehensive and robust,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“NSW is incredibly proud of the efforts of all our emergency services personnel and volunteers throughout this ongoing bushfire season, but the scale of these fires has been unprecedented and we must leave no stone unturned.

“This inquiry will allow NSW to learn from this season and the catastrophic conditions we’ve faced, and apply these learnings for the future.”

Ms Berejiklian said recovery efforts are ongoing and remain the NSW Government’s focus, as we work to ensure communities are supported as they begin to rebuild.

“Unfortunately the fire season is not over. Whilst we are focussed on the rebuilding process we are mindful of the remaining fire threats,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The inquiry will commence within days and accept submissions from the public.

A report will be submitted to the Premier at its conclusion.

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