Some of the scenes encountered on the fire grounds by the Southampton Rural Fire Service during the horrific bushfires of 2019.
Some of the scenes encountered on the fire grounds by the Southampton Rural Fire Service during the horrific bushfires of 2019.

Clarence bushfire survivors invited to share experiences

CLARENCE Valley bushfire victims are invited to take part in an online video conference on Monday to share their experiences of the last summer's disastrous fire season.

The NSW Bushfire Inquiry is meeting with communities to directly hear from people affected by the bushfires in the 2019/20 season.

Due to the circumstances of COVID-19 the inquiry has decided to hold meetings in communities via videoconferencing. People can also share their experiences over the telephone.

The NSW Government commissioned an independent expert inquiry into the 2019-2020 bushfire season.

It has appointed former Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police Dave Owens, and Independent Planning Commission chair Professor Mary O'Kane AC to lead the inquiry.

Its broad terms of reference are to review causes of, preparation for and responses to the 2019-20 bushfires.

Detailed terms of reference are available here.

The inquiry said there would be a cap on the number of participants in these meetings to ensure everyone has the chance to share their experiences.

A meeting for the Northern Rivers/Clarence Valley and surrounds community will be held on Monday from 5pm.

The inquiry has invited residents or property owners in the following council areas to register.

• Clarence Valley

• Kyogle

• Lismore

• Richmond Valley

• Byron

• Ballina

• Tweed

In addition to your attendance at this event, you can also provide a submission to the inquiry.

The inquiry has further extended the submissions deadline to Friday, May 22 to align with the period of online community consultation. Feedback can be provided through:

Filling in the online form:

Email: inquiries@bushfireinquiry.nsw.gov.au

Post: NSW independent Bushfire Inquiry, GPO Box 5341, Sydney NSW 2001

Phone: If you have limited computer or internet access, call the Bushfire Customer Care program on 137 788

In-person: Visit your nearest Service NSW or Mobile Service Centre