In accordance with the Federal Government’s health advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements is working to adjust its operations.
Commission Chair Mark Binskin said the current social distancing requirements mean it is no longer possible for the Commission to conduct its work face-to-face without exposing the community to unnecessary risk.
“The Commissioners and I are committed to ensuring this important work continues. We will use the technology available to further consult and gather information within the public health guidelines,” Chair Binskin said.
“This means examining options for digital, rather than in-person engagement.”
In line with current health advice to limit public gatherings, the Commission has also suspended its community forums to help prevent any potential exposure to the virus.
The Commission was scheduled to hold six further community forums in fire affected regions.
“These areas are equally important to the Commissioners and I strongly encourage anyone affected by the bushfires who has not yet had the opportunity to engage with the Commission to make a submission.
“In light of the reduced community forum schedule, the Commission will extend the public submission period by two weeks to 17 April 2020,” Chair Binskin said.
Individuals, organisations, community groups and the broader community can make submissions on the 2019-20 bushfire season via the Commission’s website or by phoning 1800 909 826.
The Ceremonial Hearing, which was scheduled for 31 March, will be delayed to allow the Commission to conduct the hearing while minimising the risk of exposure.