1Our Campaigns 0Safe Climate Victorian bushfires inquiry – make a submission

Victorian 2019-20 bushfires inquiry - share your voice

How to submit to the Victorian bushfires inquiry

UPDATE: Submission deadline extended until 30 April. You can begin drafting your submission with this online tool >>

In the wake of the devastating summer the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) has launched an independent investigation into the 2019-2020 fire season. The investigation is specifically examining Victoria’s preparedness and response to fire.

This is an opportunity to have your voice heard. We’ve suggested some prompts below but remember it’s vital to share your experience in your own words.


Here are some pointers to help get you started:

  • Address your submission to the Inspector-General of Emergency Management Tony Pearce.
  • Introduce yourself, where you live and how long have you lived there, say what you do e.g. are you a farmer, local business owner, emergency services worker, or resident?
  • Be polite, and stick to what you know or can verify.

Your experience

Share your own experiences:

  • Were you personally impacted by the bushfires? Do you have friends or family who were affected? How did the bushfires make you feel?
  • How do you feel your community was prepared for the bushfire season? How was the government’s response? What would you like to see done differently ahead of future fire seasons?  How do you feel about the future unless the climate crisis is addressed?
  • If you make claims, add citations to strengthen your arguments.
  • Let them know what you want the Inspector-General for Emergency Management to do – make recommendations.

Specific points

The key Terms of Reference Environment Victoria is encouraging supporters to address are: 

  • Consider all challenges and implications for bushfire preparedness arising from increasingly longer and more severe bushfire seasons as a result of climate change.
  • Review of all opportunities and approaches to bushfire preparedness, including different methods of fuel and land management (for example ‘cool burning’, mechanical slashing, integrated forest management, traditional fire approaches) to protect life and property as well as ecological and cultural values.

And here are some key points you might like to use. Remember to use your own words: 

  • In Victoria more than 1.2 million hectares of forest  was burnt, five people tragically died and over 300 homes were destroyed.
  • Climate change is exacerbating the extreme drought, dry fuels and soils and record-breaking heat that is increasing bushfire risk and makes it harder to prepare for challenging conditions.
  • Hazard reduction is an important tool for reducing fire risk but it’s not enough to protect us from catastrophic fires. It has less effect under severe or extreme fire conditions. And as the planet heats up it’s also getting harder to find the right weather to do it.
  • To minimise the impacts of future projections of climate change on bushfire weather, the State Government should commit to more effective climate change mitigation strategies and targets in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement (to keep warming well below two degrees and pursue efforts to keep warming to 1.5 degrees).

Don’t forget to thank the inquiry members for taking the time to read your submission. Make sure you include your name and full address. Feel free to adapt these points however you want.

How to submit

We’ve created a new online tool to help you draft your submission.

Use Environment Victoria’s submission draft tool

You can also make an online submission to the inquiry anytime before 30 April 2020 using the button below.

Make an online submission

It will take you to a government webpage. Once there, the drop down menu at the top right allows you to choose your language (Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Filipino, Italian, Persian, and Vietnamese, in addition to English.)

Community meetings

With the coronavirus community meetings are also being held online.

Please click on the links below for details on how to register for a meeting.

Technical advice on how to join the online meeting is available here (External link).

More information

For more details including full terms of reference, visit the Inquiry web page https://www.igem.vic.gov.au/Fire-Season-Inquiry