Royal Commission’s 15 recommendations for better preparation for disasters are complete

Fire at Green Pigeon in November 2022. Photo: Contributed

In response to the extreme bushfire season of 2019-2020, the Royal Commission made 15 recommendations.

The recommendations were released in October 2020. The 15 recommendations fell under Federal Government responsibility.

They have all been implemented and complete. They are:

  • Establish the National Emergency Management Agency as a single, enduring agency.
  • Creation of the Disaster Ready Fund to provide up to $1 billion over five years, from July this year to reduce disaster risk by investing in disaster mitigation projects.
  • Establishment of the Office of Supply Chain Resilience to identify and monitor critical supply chain vulnerabilities.
  • Establishment of the National Emergency Management Stockpile capability to ensure the supply of essential emergency goods in times of disasters.
  • Delivery of the National Joint Common Operating Picture in November this year,  which provides a shared and common understanding both nationally and across borders during crisis events.
  • Upgrade of the Australian Government National Situation Room to improve national coordination of disaster management.
  • Establishment of the National Coordination Mechanism to coordinate of the management of complex crises.
  • Establishment of the Australian Fire Danger Rating System in September last year to improve fire agencies’ ability to consistently communicate the fire threat across Australia. 
  • Establishment of the National Emergency Declaration Act 2020, which provides a legislative framework to enable the Governor-General to declare a national emergency on the prime minister’s advice.
  • Establishment of the Independent Review into Commonwealth Disaster Funding, including building additional resilience into Commonwealth programs.
  • Commissioning of the Independent Review of National Natural Disaster Governance Arrangements to better prepare governments for the demands of increasing future natural disasters;
  • Review of Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements to streamline and build additional resilience into joint Commonwealth-State recovery programs.
  • Establishment of a not-for-profit and philanthropic roundtable consisting of charities, non-government organisations and volunteer groups with a role in disaster recovery.
  • Establishment of the Australian Climate Service in July 2021 to support better decision-making through improved climate, disaster risk and impact information, services and tools.
  • Development of the Australian Warning System to provide nationally consistent warnings for emergencies like bushfire, flood, storm, extreme heat and severe weather.

The Royal Commission made it clear that state and territory governments should continue to have primary responsibility and accountability for emergency management within their boundaries, but also directed important action to be taken by the Australian Government.


This article was originally headed Royal Commission makes 15 recommendations to ensure Australia is better prepared for disaster. The headline and the story have been corrected to reflect that all 15 recommendations have been carried out.

Fire photo by Innes Larkin from the book Fire Stories.

Read about Fire Stories here.

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