The public submissions to the Royal Commission closed on 28th April and were followed by the Hearings. The first Hearing Block commenced on May 25th and will close this afternoon Friday 5th June.

This initial round of hearings focused on:

  • The changing global climate and natural disaster risks.
  • The impact of the 2019-20 bushfires on communities, and the built and natural environments.
  • Responsibilities of the Commonwealth in relation to natural disaster arrangements.

You can view or download all the transcripts from this link:

https://naturaldisaster.royalcommission.gov.au/document-library

The initial submissions by the BOM made interesting reading. This is one slide from a pack presented by Dr Karl Braganza which explains in graphic terms the climate issues we faced this summer:

The CSIRO’s climate report is also comprehensive.

You can read a lot of background on the Large Air Tankers and there is an interesting paper on the effectiveness of aerial firefighting. It states that aerial suppression alone is not sufficient to improve effective suppression and a combination of fuel management, ground crew support and aerial firefighting resources are all significant in increasing the probability of first attack success.

The paper discusses the relationship of the speed of response, or time to first attack, to the effectiveness of the attack and the liklihood of success.

The paper was written before the advent of LATs which typically have slow responses times due to their central location at Richmond Air Base.

There’s a lot of defence material submitted, two interesting papers from IAG on the insurance aspects and a number of witness transcripts. So lots of good bedtime reading ….

The VFFA will be appearing in the next Hearing Block.

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