2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission
The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission into "Australia's greatest peacetime disaster" was complex, demanding and highly-sensitive. The Corrs team, selected to instruct the six Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission, was an integral part of the investigation into the deaths of 173 Australians and the destruction of thousands of buildings and homes. Over 18 months, 155 days of hearings, 434 witnesses and two expert panels, Corrs coordinated the gathering of evidence, analysed the evidence and assisted in the drafting of submissions and recommendations.
The Royal Commission's terms of reference were very broad and extended to investigating the causes and circumstances of the fires, analysing preparation for and responses during and after the fires, and making recommendations as to what should be done to reduce the risks of such a tragedy occurring again.
The Interim Report, delivered on 17 August 2009, made 51 recommendations and was the culmination of six months' work, which included four weeks of community consultations, examination of more than 1,260 submissions and eight weeks of public hearings.
The final report, presented on 31 July 2010, was an extensive four volume report making 67 recommendations on Victoria’s bushfire safety policy, emergency and incident management, fire ground response, electricity-caused and deliberately-lit fires, planning and building, land and fuel management, organisational structure, research and evaluation and monitoring implementation.
The Corrs team worked tirelessly reviewing and drafting aspects of the report to ensure it was delivered on time.