Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Premier’s fire inquiry mustn’t be white-anted

- no deals or cover ups -

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness supports the Premier’s independent review of the 2019-2020 fires.  The inquiry must look at all aspects: preparation, response and recovery.  The inquiry’s comprehensive terms of reference# must not be white-anted to hide embarrassing facts or push agendas.

“We need to work out how to manage the increased fire risks created by human-induced climate change, Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation said.  

The Colong Foundation believes we must plan for better protection of communities and ecosystems. Need to know what went well and where improvements can be made,” he said.

“The Colong Foundation welcomes the Premier’s announcement of an inquiry that will be independent and thorough.

“We support the appointment of independent commissioners - former Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police Dave Owens and Independent Planning Commission Chair Professor Mary O’Kane AC.

“The inquiry needs extensive technical support and the full cooperation of government agencies.

“Six months is a short timeframe, but we do need guidance before next summer.  We also need a longer-term, deeper analysis and research to learn as much as we can from this disaster.

“We can’t let this opportunity pass to build better resilience for communities and nature.  Nature needs all the help we can give it, while some of the extreme ideas promoted by vested interests will just make fires worse while inflicting more damage.

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For more information: Keith Muir 0412791404

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# INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO BUSHFIRE SEASON 2019-2020

TERMS OF REFERENCE

The Inquiry is to consider, and report to the Premier on, the following matters:

1. The causes of, and factors contributing to, the frequency, intensity, timing and location of, bushfires in NSW in the 2019-20 bushfire season, including consideration of any role of weather, drought, climate change, fuel loads and human activity.

2. The preparation and planning by agencies, government, other entities and the community for bushfires in NSW, including current laws, practices and strategies, and building standards and their application and effect.

3. Responses to bushfires, particularly measures to control the spread of the fires and to protect life, property and the environment, including:

(a) immediate management, including the issuing of public warnings;

(b) resourcing, coordination and deployment; and

(c) equipment and communication systems.

4. Any other matters that the Inquiry deems appropriate in relation to bushfires.

AND to make recommendations arising from the Inquiry as considered appropriate, including on:

5. Preparation and planning for future bushfire threats and risks.

6. Land use planning and management and building standards, including appropriate clearing and other hazard reduction, zoning, and any appropriate use of indigenous practices.

7. Appropriate action to adapt to future bushfire risks to communities and ecosystems.

8. Emergency responses to bushfires, including overall human and capital resourcing.

9. Coordination and collaboration by the NSW Government with the Commonwealth Government, other state and territory governments and local governments.

10. Safety of first responders.

11. Public communication and advice systems and strategies.