Sometimes referred to as the ‘Bushfires Royal Commission’, the Commission will examine coordination, preparedness for, response to and recovery from disasters as well as improving resilience and adapting to changing climatic conditions and mitigating the impact of natural disasters. The inquiry will also consider the legal framework for Commonwealth involvement in responding to national emergencies. 

The Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements have been announced. This inquiry will focus on:

  • Improving natural disaster management coordination across all levels of government;
  • Improving Australia’s preparedness, resilience, and response to natural disasters, across all levels of government;
  • The legal framework for the Commonwealth’s involvement in responding to national emergencies and how that works with state and territory legal frameworks.

Read the full Terms of Reference here.  

The Royal Commission is one of four bushfire inquiries announced to date.


The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements is now inviting public submissions.

From Monday March 2, individuals, community groups and the broader community can make submissions to offer their experiences, insights and suggestions.

A submission is a statement to the Royal Commission which assists the Commission in collecting information that is relevant to the inquiry as set out in the terms of reference.

The information provided in a submission to the Royal Commission will help the Commission with its work.

Submissions can be made via the Commission’s website or by phoning 1800 909 826.

Submissions close: Friday, 3 April 2020.

In addition to receiving submissions, the Commission will hold formal hearings in regional New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT from April 2020.

You can subscribe to the Royal Commission’s mailing list and keep up to date with information as it is released.

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