On 25 August the NSW Government announced it will accept all 76 recommendations of the NSW Bushfire Inquiry (Inquiry) established in January to make recommendations on how the state can better prepare for bushfires in the future. The Inquiry was led by former NSW Police deputy commissioner Dave Owens and former NSW chief scientist Mary O’Kane. The Inquiry noted that whilst a number of factors contributed to the fires, climate change “…clearly played a role in the conditions that lead up to the fires and in the unrelenting conditions that supported the fires to spread…”. In total the bushfires burnt 5.5 million hectares across New South Wales, destroying 2476 homes. Close to 2000 individuals and organisations made submissions into the Inquiry.
The Inquiry’s recommendations are far-reaching and include urging the NSW Government to establish a world-class Bush Fire Technology Fund, provide support for training initiatives to ensure fire authorities have greater capacity for future fire seasons, and support the establishment of a national bushfire database to monitor trends in bushfire activity and impacts. The ABC and Sydney Morning Herald cover the story.