On 30 January 2020, the NSW Premier announced an inquiry into the 2019-20 bushfire season to make recommendations in relation to bushfire preparedness and response and to report by 31 July 2020, ahead of the 2020-21 bushfire season.
The inquiry worked to understand what happened during the 2019-20 bushfire season and how it was different to seasons that have come before, and to make recommendations for future improvements to how NSW plans and prepares for, and responds to, bushfires, rather than to attribute blame. The inquiry was not asked to and did not examine bushfire recovery issues.
The focus of this report is to provide analysis and recommendations for change to ensure that, when bushfires like this happen again, there is less damage to property and our environment and, as much as possible, there are no lives lost.
This report aims to help NSW and Australia improve systems to be more ready for extreme fires. That said, it shows there are still lots of unknowns requiring continuing work, and many of the recommendations go to that point.