NSW Bushfires coronial inquiry

Coronial investigations into deaths, property damage or destruction arising from the 2019-20 NSW Bushfire season have been ongoing and complex.  The scale of the fires has meant a number of other investigations have already taken place, including the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry and the Royal Commission into Natural Disaster Arrangements.  Reports from each of these investigations have been publicly released.  

The review by the State Coroner is focussing on events particular to each death and fire rather than the large scale themes extensively canvassed in other investigations already reported. 

NSW Bushfires Coronial Inquiry

The State Coroner will be conducting a series of coronial inquests and inquiries relating to the 2019-20 NSW Bushfire season.  The Inquiry will commence with an opening address at the Coroners Court of NSW, Lidcombe on 25 August 2021.

Public hearings will then be conducted at various regional locations. Some regional hearings have been finalised and will take place as follows:

  • Cooma Local Court:                  6 - 17 September 2021
  • Queanbeyan Local Court:        20 September – 1 October 2021.

Further details about the dates and locations of other regional hearings will be published on this page once finalised.  Please refer to the Inquiry’s Information Paper located here (PDF , 144.9 KB) for more information about the hearing process.   

All hearings will be conducted consistent with COVID-safe practices.  There will be limited space available to safely accommodate members of the media and public in the hearing rooms.  Only parties directly involved in a hearing will be allowed physical access inside the Court. The Court will live stream the opening address and public hearings via the Court’s website.  Further information about these arrangements will be published on this website closer to the hearing dates.

Interested parties

If it appears to the Coroner that a person has a sufficient interest in the subject matter of this Inquiry, they may be granted leave to appear or to be legally represented. 

An ‘interested party’ is not necessarily entitled to participate in any hearing and ask questions of witnesses unless leave to do so has been granted by the Coroner.   

A person who may be a witness during a hearing will not usually be granted leave to appear unless the Coroner has determined they are an interested party.

If you believe you have a legitimate interest in this Inquiry, you may register your interest by writing to the Solicitor Assisting containing the name of the relevant fire and the basis upon which you state you have a legitimate interest in that fire. Please provide registration of your interest to: bushfires.legal@justice.nsw.gov.au by Friday, 30 July 2021.

Submissions

The Inquiry would like to hear information from those who have been directly affected by the bushfires and about what they experienced.  Submissions are now invited from bushfire affected residents, emergency and support personnel, organisations and the public.  All submissions received will be reviewed.

How to make a submission

Your response and feedback will help to inform the Inquiry’s work.   Submissions will be accepted until Friday, 30 July 2021

If you would like to make a submission, please use the online form located here   

Further information

Any questions can be directed to:

Mr Lyncoln Chee, Director

Inquests, Inquiries & Representation

Legal, Department of Communities and Justice

Phone: (02) 8688 0101

Email:   bushfires.legal@justice.nsw.gov.au

Post:    Locked Bag 5111, Parramatta NSW 2141

If you are unable to make a submission online, please call Legal, Department of Communities and Justice on (02) 8688 0101. 

The Court also has a list of useful help and support contacts which can be found here.


Last updated:

13 Jul 2021

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