Review of ACT emergency services responses to the 2019-20 bushfire season

Review of ACT emergency services responses to the 2019-20 bushfire season

Assembly Committee review of ACT emergency services responses to the 2019-20 bushfire season

Invitation to put views to the Committee


The Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety has decided to carry out a review of the responses by ACT emergency services agencies to the unprecedented 2019-20 bushfire season in the Territory.

The Committee’s review will be conducted under the Committee’s general powers of inquiry into issues and events affecting all aspects of community safety in the ACT which were given to the Committee by the Assembly at the commencement of the 9th Assembly in 2017.

The Committee is conducting the review so the Legislative Assembly and the ACT community can have a discussion prior to the 2020-21 bushfire season on responses during the 2019-20 bushfire season from the start of the season.  These responses range from preparation, education and public communication, to actions by agencies at the height of the bushfires over summer 2019-20.

The Committee will canvass the matters arising in 2019-20 with the emergency services agencies and is also asking for community views on all factors relating to the ACT’s susceptibility to fire and how the impact of bushfire was and is to be mitigated.

The Committee sees several matters as important to its review:

  • Planning and coordination of programs to combat all aspects of the 2019-20 bushfire season
  • Things done well in preparation for and mitigating the effects of the 2019-20 bushfires
  • How major events in 2019-20 bushfire season were dealt with as a major ACT natural disaster – and the lessons learned for next season and following years.

The Committee plans to draw information from a variety of sources, and particularly will draw on the views of experts, emergency services agencies, the Government and the community, and especially those members of the community who contribute so much to agency efforts as volunteers and bushfire season personnel.

In addition, the Committee will draw on the results of the review of Emergency Services Agency experience in 2019-20 foreshadowed at the end of the bushfire season announced at the end of March 2020.

In addition, the Committee will have regard to findings and recommendations from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements established on 20 February 2020 in response to the extreme nature bushfire season of 2019-20, and the resulting loss of life, property and wildlife and environmental destruction which is to report by the end of August 2020. .

Submissions and Inquiry

The Committee is asking for views to be provided by 1 July 2020.

The Committee particularly notes that its review will be public and will be undertaken as public hearings, subject to the constraints imposed by present circumstances.  The discussions will inform the Committees’ report and any observations arising from its review.

Details about submissions and public hearings will be made available on the Commission’s website.

The Committee will release its report prior to the end of this Assembly.

For information about how to make a submission, please see the ‘Getting involved’ page on the Assembly website.

Please note that submissions are generally published on the Committee website and are affected by parliamentary privilege.  For more information about this, please read the Guide to Making a Submission.

The Committee prefers all submissions to be lodged in electronic form (Word format), although handwritten submissions are acceptable. All submissions, including those sent electronically, must include a name, an email address, a postal address and a telephone contact number. Personal contact details will not be published.

Submissions should be forwarded to:

  • The Committee Secretary, Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety, Legislative Assembly for the ACT, GPO Box 1020, CANBERRA ACT 2601.
  • Email: by 1 July 2020

Further Information

For more information, please contact the Committee Secretary, Andrew Snedden at or on 6205 0199, or on 0410516850.

01. ACT Rural Landholders' Association PDF (603.5 KB)
02. Menzies Research Centre PDF (959.2 KB)
03. Name withheld PDF (383.8 KB)
04. G Mayo PDF (2.3 MB)
05. S Bennetts PDF (184.4 KB)
06. Confidential PDF (238.1 KB)
07. Confidential PDF (238.6 KB)
08. A Samara PDF (702.2 KB)
09. K Brown PDF (123.3 KB)
10. Ginninderra Falls Association PDF (421.1 KB)
11. UFU (ACT Branch) PDF (573.1 KB)
11. UFU ACT - attachment 1 - Rpt 1 - A Better Fire and Rescue Service for the ACT PDF (3.6 MB)
11. UFU ACT - attachment 2 - Rpt 2 - A Better Fire and Rescue Service for the ACT PDF (1.7 MB)
11. UFU ACT - attachment 3 - Rpt 2 - A Better Fire and Rescue Service for the ACT PDF (1.2 MB)
11. UFU ACT - attachment 4 - Rpt 2 - A Better Fire and Rescue Service for the ACT PDF (511.5 KB)
11. UFU ACT - attachment 5 PDF (659.0 KB)
11. UFU ACT - attachment 6 PDF (84.6 KB)
11. UFU ACT - attachment 7 PDF (85.6 KB)
11. UFU ACT - attachment 8 PDF (685.5 KB)

View committee hearings transcripts

Go to current public hearings schedule

Public hearings :

28 July 2020, 3:00pm - 5:00pm

11 August 2020

18 August 2020

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.