Preparing for the unprecedented: implementation of the Report of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements

Credit: Jamie Kidston/ANU Media A dense orange haze of bushfire smoke covers Australian Parliament House during the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires.

The Black Summer bushfires were immensely destructive, burning through an area equivalent to the size of Ireland, and fuelled by months of record-breaking temperatures and drought. The New South Wales bushfire inquiry found that this bushfire season was unprecedented due to its length, intensity, and areas impacted.

Following this fire season, The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements was formed to examine how prepared Australia is to respond to bushfires and other natural disasters.

The Commission presented its report in October 2020, outlining its recommendations. In the report, the Commission stated that “We need to do much more than put out fires”, and called for more focus on avoiding or mitigating disasters as much as possible, as focusing on addressing disasters as they happen is not enough.

The next important step to consider is how will government, industry and society go about the challenge of implementing the Commission’s wide-ranging recommendations?

This expert panel brings together academics from across the ANU to discuss this question, and the recommendations of the latest Royal Commission, focusing on the barriers, opportunities, and practicalities of implementation. The panel will focus on four key areas – national arrangements, the role of the defence forces, health and land management.

This public event will be followed up by targeted, sector-focused workshops scheduled for 2021. If you would like to be informed about these workshops, please register your interest by emailing 

This event has been organised by the Disaster Risk Science Institute, the Fenner School of Environment and Society, and the Climate Change Institute at The Australian National University.

This event will be recorded. The recording will be made available after the event through the ANU Climate Change Institute YouTube channel.

By registering for this event you are also subscribing to the ANU Climate Change Institute / Energy Change Institute mailing list. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe button at the bottom of any correspondence.