Bushfire inquiry to host virtual community meeting

The NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry will host an online meeting for communities of the Wollondilly and Southern Highlands region this week.

The Inquiry is being led by Dave Owens APM, former Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police, and Professor Mary O'Kane AC, Independent Planning Commission Chair and former NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer.

The Inquiry will report to the Premier on 31 July 2020.

The inquiry is reviewing the causes of, preparation for and response to the 2019-20 bushfires and will provide input to NSW ahead of the next bushfire season.

Since February, the Inquiry has been meeting with communities in bushfire-affected regions across the state and has successfully held five online community consultation sessions.

Professor O'Kane said community meetings have been an important part of the Inquiry.

"We have moved these to a virtual format to accommodate the COVID-19 restrictions implemented across the state," Professor O'Kane said.

"We have flown over some bushfire-affected regions and witnessed the devastation caused by the fires firsthand. We are looking forward to meeting with the Wollondilly and Southern Highlands communities to hear their experiences directly," Mr Owens said.

The virtual community meeting for Wollondilly and Southern Highlands region is on Thursday 7 May from 5pm.

The Inquiry also welcomes submissions from bushfire-affected residents, emergency and support personnel, organisations and the general public. Submissions will close on Friday 22 May 2020.

Information about the Inquiry, and the process for registering to attend the community meeting and how to make a submission, is available at www.nsw.gov.au/bushfireinquiry