Following the Government’s announcement of a National Royal Commission into the ‘black summer’ bushfires, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy will not proceed further with its Parliamentary inquiry into land management relating to bushfires.
Chair of the Committee, Mr Ted O’Brien MP, said that ‘the Royal Commission will be a major national exercise, and its key areas of inquiry include the core matter before this Committee: vegetation and land management and its impact on the intensity and frequency of bushfires.
‘The Committee has therefore decided to wind up our inquiry, in order to make way for the Royal Commission. This will avoid any confusion and prevent duplication of resources and demand.’
Mr O’Brien expressed the Committee’s thanks to those who have contributed to its inquiry.
‘The evidence the Committee has published during the three months of its inquiry will be available to the Royal Commission. We hope that it will be a useful contribution to the Commission’s consideration of the vegetation and land management issues relating to bushfires’, Mr O’Brien said.
‘Going forward, the Committee encourages bushfire-affected organisations, individuals and communities to engage with the Royal Commission.
‘We wish the Commission every success with its important work.’
The Committee will cease accepting submissions to the inquiry as of today, 26 February 2020. Submissions and public hearing transcripts from the inquiry will remain published on the inquiry website.
The Committee’s inquiry was adopted in December 2019 on referral from the Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, the Hon David Littleproud MP. The Committee will present a brief formal report to the House of Representatives, to conclude the inquiry.
For background information:
House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy
(02) 6277 4580
Details on the Royal Commission, including Terms of Reference, can be found HERE.