INQ098

TitleLong
A Nation Charred: Inquiry into the Recent Australian Bushfires
INQAuthor
House of Representatives Select Committee on the Recent Australian Bushfires.
Year
InquiryType
DisasterType
State
Status

Recommendations for this Inquiry

INQ-ref REC-UID CODE SubCode SrcNUM Recommendation
INQ098 REC098-2188 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 59

The Committee recommends that Program E of the Bushfire Cooperative Centre, which is tasked with the development of the next generation of fire researchers and dissemination of the Centre’s work, be tasked further to collect and respond to feedback, particularly from the on ground volunteer level

INQ098 REC098-2172 D - Recovery 6 - Insurance and legal liability Recommendation 43

The Committee recommends that taxes on insurance premiums be calculated only on the premium in order to eliminate the current cascading cost.

INQ098 REC098-2171 E - Agency Organisation 37 - Funding Recommendation 42

The Committee strongly recommends that the New South Wales, Victorian and Tasmanian Governments abolish the Fire Levy tax they impose on home and business insurance premiums (wherever applicable), making it payable through household rates instead.

INQ098 REC098-2170 E - Agency Organisation 32 - Doctrine, standards, and reform Recommendation 41

The Committee recommends that Emergency Management Australia request the Australasian Fire Authorities Council to:

INQ098 REC098-2169 E - Agency Organisation 37 - Funding Recommendation 40

The Committee recommends that, for the purpose of communications for the police, ambulance and fire brigades, any rental costs associated with the use of radio sites under the care, control or management of the Commonwealth, state, territory or local government be waived, other than for the ongoi

INQ098 REC098-2168 C - Response 2 - Emergency powers Recommendation 39

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth investigate, and where necessary, require the urgent enhancement of the provision of emergency power and telecommunications services for the purpose of

INQ098 REC098-2167 B - Preparedness 10 - Electricity infrastructure Recommendation 38

The Committee recommends that Emergency Management Australia and the Australian Communications Authority, in conjunction with the respective state and territory governments, ensure the survivability of essential communication installations during fire incidents by strategic fuel management around

INQ098 REC098-2166 E - Agency Organisation 32 - Doctrine, standards, and reform Recommendation 37

The Committee recommends that Emergency Management Australia work through the Australasian Fire Authorities Council to ensure that:

INQ098 REC098-2165 C - Response 7 - Inter-agency communication Recommendation 36

The Committee recommends that Emergency Management Australia and the Australian Communications Authority work with state and territory bush fire authorities to ensure that that district communication plans

INQ098 REC098-2164 C - Response 7 - Inter-agency communication Recommendation 35

The Committee recommends that:
- As a short term objective, the use of ‘40’ channel UHF CB equipment be adopted for coordination and interoperability of communications at fire ground level.

INQ098 REC098-2163 B - Preparedness 10 - Electricity infrastructure Recommendation 34

The Committee recommends that Emergency Management Australia and the Australian Communications Authority jointly with the Australasian Fire Authorities Council:

INQ098 REC098-2162 F - Research and technology 13 - Mapping and data quality Recommendation 33

The Committee recommends that the 1:100,000 national mapping program be accelerated to achieve an average life of no greater than 10 years with priority given to those areas most susceptible to national disasters.

INQ098 REC098-2161 F - Research and technology 13 - Mapping and data quality Recommendation 32

The Committee recommends that Emergency Management Australia be required to participate in the development and delivery of spatial information systems as part of a national approach to emergency planning and management data.

INQ098 REC098-2173 E - Agency Organisation 36 - Volunteers Recommendation 44

The Committee suggests that registered volunteer fire fighters be exempt from paying Fire Levy tax to help offset some of the expense they incur during active duty. The exemption could be for a period of 12 months

INQ098 REC098-2174 A - Responsibility 9 - Community education Recommendation 45

The Committee recommends that the Insurance Council of Australia coordinates a public education campaign aimed at illustrating the importance of asset protection and how this can be achieved (that is, insurance products).

INQ098 REC098-2175 D - Recovery 6 - Insurance and legal liability Recommendation 46

The Committee recommends that insurance companies ensure that potential and existing policyholders are aware of the need to regularly review their insurance policies to prevent undervaluing. This could be done through renewal notices and quarterly reminders.

INQ098 REC098-2187 E - Agency Organisation 32 - Doctrine, standards, and reform Recommendation 58

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth require state and territory governments to have in place comprehensive bush fire management plans as a pre-requisite for accessing funding from the National Heritage Trust and like programs.

INQ098 REC098-2186 A - Responsibility 38 - Agency/Department Reporting Recommendation 57

The Committee recommends that the Department of Transport and Regional Services review its record keeping practices to show the type of emergency for which assistance is provided through the Natural Disaster
Relief Arrangements.

INQ098 REC098-2185 A - Responsibility 21 - Role of Commonwealth Government Recommendation 56

The Committee recommends in acknowledgement of the expertise that the Commonwealth can bring to the Australasian Fire Authorities Council and of funding already supplied to the Council for the development of a National Aerial Firefighting Strategy, that the current status of Emergency Management

INQ098 REC098-2184 A - Responsibility 21 - Role of Commonwealth Government Recommendation 55

The Committee recommends that the functions and administration of Emergency Management Australia be reviewed to develop an organisation that is proactive and involved in the development and implementation of national policy on emergency response.

INQ098 REC098-2183 D - Recovery 6 - Insurance and legal liability Recommendation 54

Further to recommendation 21 in Chapter 4, the Committee recommends that the Commonwealth seeks to ensure that the proposed Council of Australian Governments review of the bushfire management, initiate

INQ098 REC098-2182 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 53

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre’s research and recommend property protection products and programs under Program D.

INQ098 REC098-2181 C - Response 11 - Evacuation and shelters Recommendation 52

The Committee recommends that the Australasian Fire Authorities Council’s suggested evacuation protocol be adopted by all of the Australian States and Territories.

INQ098 REC098-2180 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 51

The Committee recommends that (under Programs C and E) the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre considers the following items as part of a national education program.
- Introducing bushfire skills training to schools and libraries.

INQ098 REC098-2179 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 50

The Committee recommends that Program D of the Commonwealth Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre examines the (pending) outcome of the ABCB’s review of the existing Building Code of Australia bushfire

INQ098 REC098-2178 B - Preparedness 1 - Land-use and building regs Recommendation 49

The Committee recommends that Standards Australia review the clarity of AS3959–1999: Construction of buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas to ensure that all relevant stakeholders can interpret and apply the Standard in the way it is intended.

INQ098 REC098-2177 B - Preparedness 39 - Disaster Risk Management Recommendation 48

The Committee recommends that state and territory governments be required to regularly perform risk assessments to the land within their jurisdictions to ensure that bushfire prone areas are accurately identified

INQ098 REC098-2176 B - Preparedness 1 - Land-use and building regs Recommendation 47

The Committee recommends that Standards Australia incorporate building maintenance into AS3959–1999: Construction of buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas, perhaps renaming it as AS3959–1999: Construction and maintenance of buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas.

INQ098 REC098-2160 F - Research and technology 13 - Mapping and data quality Recommendation 31

The Committee recommends that Geoscience Australia take responsibility, in conjunction with Emergency Management Australia, for developing a national spatial data policy to coordinate the development of data systems, the collection of data and the sharing of data between all the emergency respons

INQ098 REC098-2159 E - Agency Organisation 32 - Doctrine, standards, and reform Recommendation 30

The Committee recommends that in changing the incident management systems as proposed in recommendation 23 above all bushfire agencies review concerns about difficulties in communicating operational information from the fire front to air operations.

INQ098 REC098-2158 E - Agency Organisation 37 - Funding Recommendation 29

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth should commit funding for aerial fire fighting beyond the 2003–04 season on the proviso that the Australasian Fire Authorities Council and the state and territory governments make a commitment to:

INQ098 REC098-2142 B - Preparedness 5 - Hazard reduction burns Recommendation 13

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth seek to ensure that the Council of Australian Governments seek agreement from the states and territories on the optimisation and implementation of prescribed burning targets and programs to a degree that is recognised as adequate for the protection o

INQ098 REC098-2141 E - Agency Organisation 32 - Doctrine, standards, and reform Recommendation 12

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth through the National Heritage Trust, offer assistance to the states and the Australian Capital Territory to develop specific prescribed burning guides, at least

INQ098 REC098-2140 E - Agency Organisation 12 - EM agency and authority Recommendation 11

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth seeks to ensure that the Council of Australian Governments implements arrangements in which greater flexibility is devolved to local brigade captains in the

INQ098 REC098-2139 F - Research and technology 17 - Assets and technology Recommendation 10

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth seeks to ensure that the Council of Australian Governments initiate consideration of the relaxation of restrictions on the movement of fire fighting equipment
during declared emergencies.

INQ098 REC098-2138 B - Preparedness 10 - Electricity infrastructure Recommendation 9

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth seeks to ensure that the Council of Australian Governments resolve to increase water access points for bushfire fighting on public land to the minimum national standard.

INQ098 REC098-2137 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre establish a minimum national standard that is common across all tenures of land for water access and availability for bushfire fighting.

INQ098 REC098-2136 B - Preparedness 4 - Fire season preparation Recommendation 7

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth through the National Heritage Trust assist the states and territories in the construction, maintenance and signage of fire trail networks.

INQ098 REC098-2135 E - Agency Organisation 32 - Doctrine, standards, and reform Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth seeks to ensure that the Council of Australian Governments implements to a minimum national standard adequate access to all public lands including wilderness areas of national parks.

INQ098 REC098-2134 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre determine a minimum national standard, taking into account topography and vegetation type, for adequate access to all public lands

INQ098 REC098-2133 B - Preparedness 1 - Land-use and building regs Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth seeks to ensure that the Council of Australian Governments resolve when asset protection zones will be located on private land and when on public land and gain assurances that adequate maintenance of zones will be enforced.

INQ098 REC098-2132 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre establish, as part of its program to implement a single fuel classification system, standards which take into account local conditions including topography and vegetation type, for determining appropriate dimensions for asset

INQ098 REC098-2131 A - Responsibility 24 - Govt responsibility Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth through the Council of Australian Governments ensure that states and territories have adequate controls to ensure that local governments implement required fuel management standards on private property and land under their control.

INQ098 REC098-2143 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 14

The Committee recommends that, as part of its study into improving the effectiveness of prescribed burning, the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre establish a national database that includes areas targeted for fuel reduction, the area of fuel reduction achieved based on a specified standard of

INQ098 REC098-2144 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 15

The Committee acknowledges community concerns about smoke pollution as a result of prescribed burning and recommends that the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre pursue its proposed study into smoke modelling.

INQ098 REC098-2145 F - Research and technology 26 - Research Recommendation 16

The Committee recommends that the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre monitor the effect of grazing on mitigating the return of woody weeds to recently fire effected areas across various landscapes including
alpine and subalpine.

INQ098 REC098-2157 D - Recovery 6 - Insurance and legal liability Recommendation 28

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth Government work with Australasian Fire Authorities Council to review the insurance cover provided to volunteer fire fighters in all states and territories and ensure that cover is adequate for loss of life or injury and related loss of income and pro

INQ098 REC098-2156 E - Agency Organisation 36 - Volunteers Recommendation 27

The Committee recommends that:
- the Commonwealth implement a program similar to the Army Reservist Employer Support Program for the re-imbursement of costs incurred by employers of volunteer fire fighters when attending bush fires for a period exceeding five days in any month; and

INQ098 REC098-2155 A - Responsibility 25 - Inquiry, audit, lessons management and after action review Recommendation 26

The Committee recommends that Emergency Management Australia initiate a process involving Australasian Fire Authorities Council and the Australian Assembly of Volunteer Fire Brigades Association to review

INQ098 REC098-2154 E - Agency Organisation 32 - Doctrine, standards, and reform Recommendation 25

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth seek to ensure that the Council of Australian Governments seek the adoption by all states and territories of multi-agency protocols and agreements for fire
management, similar to those in force in Tasmania.