Bushfire

The NSW Nationals in the state government have accepted in principle all 76 recommendations of the Bushfire Inquiry Report.

The government released the independent NSW Bushfire Inquiry report on Tuesday, which examined the causes, preparation and response to the devastating 2019-20 bushfires. Further work is to be done on specific timelines to give communities assurance that changes will be made to keep them safe.

Any issues not covered in the report that are still relevant to the protection of property and life will also be further examined.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said all 76 recommendations in the Inquiry were based on the harsh lessons learnt from the catastrophic bushfires of last summer.

“Last bushfire season was unlike anything we have ever dealt with before and we need a government response to match,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Things like strategic hazard reduction and better land management no matter the tenure are essential when it comes to keeping our communities safe.”

Getting the job done

Resilience NSW, led by former fire chief and agency Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, has been tasked with coordinating and overseeing the implementation of the Inquiry’s recommendations as the government finalises its approach. The report is the result of hard work from former NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens and Professor Mary O’Kane AC.

The NSW Nationals in the state government are determined to ensure the state is as prepared as it can be to face the next fire season, and the learnings from this Inquiry will help us further improve our preparedness and response.

The government has already delivered more than $45 million in additional funding, announced in May, to fast-track hazard reduction and deliver upgrades to our firefighting capability. This was a terrible bushfire season and the NSW Nationals in the state government will look at all the steps we can take, especially in relation to helping people protect their property.

The findings of the report show that there is an opportunity to strengthen governance and responsibility, which the NSW Nationals in the state government are in the process of addressing. The report also acknowledges the significant contribution of both climate change and the vast expanse of the state’s bushland towards these devastating fires.

Our state is more prepared than ever before for the 2020-21 fire season. The NSW Nationals in the state government have already begun implementing the Inquiry’s recommendation to replace and retrofit the fire fighting fleet, with 120 new trucks and 70 refurbished trucks to be rolled out before the end of the financial year.