Royal Commission appointed to enquire into and report upon the bush fires of December, 1960 and January, February and March, 1961 in Western Australia. The measures necessary or desirable to prevent and control such fires and to protect life and property
Rodger G.J.

Recommendations for this Inquiry

INQ-ref REC-UID CODE SubCode SrcNUM Recommendation
INQ019 REC019-4133 A - Responsibility 9 - Community education Recommendation 1

The Bush Fires Board take a more active part in enlightening the public generally and the local communities in particular to their responsibilites on fire control. 

INQ019 REC019-4148 B - Preparedness 10 - Infrastructure Recommendation 16

The Commonwealth Government be asked to complete as far as practicable, the connection of telephones to outlying country centres before the end of 1961.

INQ019 REC019-4149 B - Preparedness 10 - Infrastructure Recommendation 17

A sub-committee of telecommunication officers and representatives of the Bush Fires Board be appointed to investigate and encourage the development of a modern system of radio equipment for bush fire brigades. 

INQ019 REC019-4150 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 18

The Forests Department direct more staff to the planning and co-ordination of its bush fire control organisation so that emergency conditions can be met immediately by ample reserves of labour and equipment and that co-ordination between the Department, the local authority, sawmills and other sou

INQ019 REC019-4151 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 19

The Forests Department carry out more research into both the technical and practical side of fire control as a necessary accompaniment to the expenditure of money on other forest works and that forest fire control officers be sent overseas at intervals to gain information regarding the latest dev

INQ019 REC019-4152 B - Preparedness 5 - Hazard reduction burns Recommendation 20

The Forests Department make every endeavour to improve and extend the practice of control burning to ensure that the forests receive the maximum protection practicable consistent with silvicultural requirements.

INQ019 REC019-4153 F - Research and technology 17 - Assets and technology Recommendation 21

No opportunity be lost by the Forests Department to improve the efficiency of their fire fighting gangs, radio and other equipment in the light of the latest practical and scientific developments.

INQ019 REC019-4154 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 22

A committee be formed and provided with the finance necessary to enable it to supplement the activities of the local bush fire brigades in districts in the far south-west of the State where ratable values are particularly low and the proportion of Crown lands high, and that the Forests Department

INQ019 REC019-4155 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 23

The management of all National Parks in the State be concentrated under one authority to ensure co-ordination in administration and protective measures.

INQ019 REC019-4156 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 24

A fire control research advisory committee be formed to co-operate with the Forests Department in carrying out scientific research into fire control.

INQ019 REC019-4157 C - Response 18 - Access to fire ground Recommendation 25

Local authorities and if necessary the Minister take active steps to enforce the removal of fire hazards from the vicinity of buildings in rural areas and that special attention be given to the removal of dead trees on the edges of pasture land and on firebreaks in timbered country.

INQ019 REC019-4158 E - Agency Organisation 16 - Training and behaviour Recommendation 26

That needs in the direction of a fire emergency service be met as far as practicable by the Bush Fires Board in its training programme and in the tactical organisation of existing brigades for use as reserves in districts other than their own.

INQ019 REC019-4147 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 15

All local authorities form advisory committees of persons from bush fire brigades and of bush fire control officers to plan co-operation in effort and co-ordination between brigades, to group brigades under brigade group officers and to advise the local authority upon all matters of fire control,

INQ019 REC019-4146 D - Recovery 6 - Insurance and legal liability Recommendation 14

Insurance companies be asked to subsidise the bush fire equipment fund by an amount at least equal to the amount they at present remit on premiums received for fire insurance in approved districts and that the Government contribute an amount to the fund at least equal to that contributed by the I

INQ019 REC019-4145 E - Agency Organisation 37 - Funding Recommendation 13

A fund be established to subsidise the purchase of equipment for bush fire brigades but that the granting of subsidies depend upon a certificate being received from the Bush Fires Board that the brigade in question is of a standard that will be available at all times for effective use and that ad

INQ019 REC019-4134 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 2

All members of the Board be selected for their interest in and experience and knowledge of matters directly associated with bush fire control and not merely as representatives of particular organisations, that the Chairman of the Board be appointed by the Governor instead of being an ex officio a

INQ019 REC019-4135 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 3

The Bush Fires Board appoint a Standing Committee of about six of its members, all of whom are likely to be available at any time during the bush fire season to meet and take executive action as necessary.

INQ019 REC019-4136 C - Response 34 - Local knowledge Recommendation 4

The Bush Fires Board appoint a Regional Committee of Board members co-opt local members for each climatic region of the State to study the bush fire control problems of the region and advise the Board so that inter alia adequate attention may be given by the Board to co-ordinating the beginning a

INQ019 REC019-4137 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 5

Before the bush fire season starts, the Minister on the recommendation of the Board nominate a person and a deputy person who will be instructed to take charge of fire fighting operations in each district should a dangerous fire occur and render such an appointment advisable.

INQ019 REC019-4138 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 6

That care be exercised in recommending the application of emergency bush fire periods so that they will not be applied to districts where their application is unnecessary.

INQ019 REC019-4139 A - Responsibility 19 - Offences Recommendation 7

Local authorities prosecute in all cases of deliberate breaches of the provisions of the Bush Fires Act and thay failing this the Bush Fires Board take appropriate action to initiate such prosecutions.

INQ019 REC019-4140 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 8

Local authorities select bush fire control officers for their knowledge and experience of bush fires and their qualities of leadership and that as far as practicable, they be captains of bush fire brigades so that the person issuing the permit to burn has the responsibility of extinguishing the f

INQ019 REC019-4141 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 9

The relative seniority of bush fire control officers be determined with a view to appointing group leaders as chief bush fire control officers. The Shire Clerk should generally be a liaison bush fire control officer rather than a chief fire control officer.

INQ019 REC019-4142 B - Preparedness 5 - Hazard reduction burns Recommendation 10

Landowners desiring to carry out developmental burns be required to inform the local authority sufficiently early to enable that body to direct them or request the local bush fire brigade to carry out protective burning around the area before the prohibited season starts.

INQ019 REC019-4143 B - Preparedness 5 - Hazard reduction burns Recommendation 11

It be made clear to all fire control officers that the conditions for burning prescribed in the Bush Fires Act are minimal only, and that it is their duty to prescribe such further conditions as will ensure that should unfavourable weather conditions un-expectedly develop a situation would not ar

INQ019 REC019-4144 E - Agency Organisation 16 - Training and behaviour Recommendation 12

No opportunity be lost of encouraging the formation of bush fire brigades and the maintenance of enthusiasm and that the Bush Fires Board assist the brigades in any way possible to obtain adequate training and equipment.

INQ019 REC019-4159 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 27

The State Emergency Service be used to meet any additional needs but that as far as possible, requests for assistance be directed in the first instance to the Bush Fires Board or at least referred to that Board by the State Emergency Service for advice before action is taken.