HIGH FIRE DANGER: In October, 2019, a State of Emergency was declared across NSW as crews from the Kyogle RFS helped out at the Rappville bushfire.
HIGH FIRE DANGER: In October, 2019, a State of Emergency was declared across NSW as crews from the Kyogle RFS helped out at the Rappville bushfire.

Bushfire Royal Commission hands down 80 recommendations

IT WAS Australia’s hottest and driest year on record when the 2019-2020 bushfires roared through a country in drought and ripped the heart out of so many communities.

In Northern NSW, firefighters seemed to be on the go throughout 2019 and their incredible work, which saved countless lives at places such as Rappville, will never be forgotten.

On Friday October 30, the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements released the Royal Commission into Bushfires report which includes 80 recommendations.

These recommendation range from first responder resources, throughout to advice on the co-ordination of all levels of government during emergencies, how the public is notified, climate data, the role Australian Defence Force and how best government and not-for-profit organisations can best respond.

Across NSW and the rest of Australia, as tens of millions of hectares of land burned, many thousands of volunteers and professional emergency responders worked tirelessly and made great sacrifices to save lives, homes and precious natural landscapes.

The report also recognises that 33 people died, including six Australian firefighters and three American aerial firefighters.

Thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged and smoke blanketed much of Australia, including capital cities, and contributed to hundreds of deaths.

Nearly three billion animals were killed or displaced, and the fires harmed many threatened species and ecological communities. and overall, the fires caused billions of dollars of damage.

Meanwhile, former fire and emergency chiefs welcomed the Bushfire Royal Commission’s warning that climate change fuelled the Black Summer fires, and demand urgent action from the Federal government on climate change.

Greg Mullins, founder of Emergency Leaders for Climate Action and former Commissioner, Fire and Rescue NSW said the report, “has laid out the facts in no uncertain terms.”

Climate change drove the Black Summer bushfires, and climate change is pushing us into a future of unprecedented bushfire severity,” he said.

“The Federal Government absolutely must act on the root cause of worsening bushfires in Australia, and take urgent steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This clearly means no new coal or gas, and a rapid transition to renewable energy.”



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