Royal Commission entering final hearing week

The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements will commence its final week of hearings at 10am on Monday, 21 September 2020.

This final hearing block follows consideration of responses received to the Commissioners’ Interim Observation, published on 31 August 2020, and draft propositions prepared by Counsel Assisting published on 4 September 2020.

The draft propositions afforded the opportunity to test a wide range of ideas informed by the material provided to the Royal Commission to date through submissions, responses to compulsory notices and Issues Papers, and evidence presented during public hearings.

While the responses received indicate strong support for a number of propositions, the range of views on a number of the propositions will be further examined during the hearings. In advance of these final hearings, additional responses to compulsory notices and other evidence have been tendered in chambers and are available on the Commission’s website under Hearing Block 4.

During the course of the hearings, the Commission will focus on the role of:

  • national information systems and coordination
  • a declaration of a national emergency
  • a single resilience, relief and recovery agency within the Australian government

in ensuring Australia’s disaster coordination arrangements are the best they can be.

The witness list for Hearing Block 4 will be available on the Commission’s website. The Commission presently does not propose to sit on Wednesday 23 September, and will hear oral addresses from Counsel on the afternoon of Thursday 24 and morning of Friday 25 September

Hearings will be live-streamed on the Commission’s website.

At the conclusion of Hearing Block 4, the Royal Commission will adjourn to finalise its report to present to the Governor-General by 28 October 2020.

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