NSW government announces bushfire inquiry

One of the inquiry's goals will be to "learn" from this season's bushfire catastrophe.

One of the inquiry's goals will be to "learn" from this season's bushfire catastrophe. Photo: Getty

The impact of climate change on the unprecedented NSW bushfire crisis will be examined in a new inquiry announced by the state government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the bushfire inquiry on Thursday, saying it was crucial to “leave no stone unturned”.

The inquiry will be run by two experts over a six-month period and will take submissions from the public.

“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,” Ms Berejiklian said in a statement.

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

Former NSW Police deputy commissioner Dave Owens and former NSW chief scientist Professor Mary O’Kane will lead the inquiry.

Terms of reference direct them to consider how climate change, hazard reduction burns, drought, and human activity contributed to the devastating bushfire season.

The relationship between state authorities and federal authorities will also be examined.

Ms Berejiklian used the announcement to remind the state the current bushfire season was not over, despite a general easing in weather conditions.

“While we are focused on the rebuilding process we are mindful of the remaining fire threats,” she said.

Thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed by bushfires in NSW this summer, while 25 people have died.


Topics: Bushfires
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