Royal Commission confirms complexities of fire management

 
NSW Farmers welcomes the final report and recommendations from the Royal Commission into Natural Disaster Arrangements. 

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said the report demonstrates the many complexities in fire management, response, and recovery that have led to additional challenges for those impacted by the 2019-2020 fire season. 

“The importance placed on improving and strengthening national coordination, information sharing and communication provides a critical opportunity for all levels of government to better work together to deliver the best process for change,” Mr Jackson said. 

“The NSW Government undertook its own inquiry into the bushfires and it will be important that the response to the recommendations from both inquiries deliver complementary and tangible change.”

“We particularly welcome the recommendations for shared and common data, which will benefit landholders near state and territory borders and improve assessment of capability and capacity of fire and emergency services. This must also recognise the role and authority of local bush fire brigades and volunteers, the delivery of a Public Safety Mobile Broadband; and improved, streamlined and simplified recovery services and support.”

Mr Jackson said NSW Farmers members have long held concerns regarding assessment and approvals for vegetation management, bushfire mitigation and hazard reduction, particularly where farmland abuts public land.

“The message from the Royal Commission is clear – a simpler, clearer and consistent approach to hazard reduction is critical for the health of our national parks and agricultural land alike.”

“NSW Farmers welcomes the recognition that a range of hazard reduction strategies must be supported, particularly highlighting the opportunities for expanding the role of Indigenous land and fire management practices.”

“While we welcome the work of the Royal Commission, this is yet another set of recommendations. Improvements to on-the-ground actions is what is required. A commitment to change and adequate resourcing to deliver that change must be a priority,” Mr Jackson concluded. 

Date: Monday, 2 November 2020
Media Contact:  Michael Burt  | 0428 228 988 | burtm@nswfarmers.org.au