Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Queen wants a copy of the Victoria Bushfires Royal Commission report

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Australia, expressed shock and sadness at the time of the Februray 7th, 2009 bushfires and had asked to receive a copy of the Victoria Bushfires Royal Commission report, reported Channel 9 in today's evening news.

The bushfires claimed 173 lives and destroyed countless homes and businesses.

The report, more than 300 pages in all (see this summary), contains over 60 recommendations to improve response to and planning for bushfire events in Victoria.

The Victorian government has not decided its response to the report which is critical of the bushfire planning, resourcing and most particularly the Police Minister and the senior management of the Country Fire Authority, Department of Sustainability and Environment and the Police, said the ABC:
"Mr Brumby says it is important for the Government to consider its response to the report carefully.

"'As Premier I feel the full weight of responsibility to make sure that we get our response to the Commission's report right to make sure we make our state as safe as possible,' he said."
It seems Victoria failed or had forgotten to learn the lessons of previous major fires in 1939 and 1983.

In February 2009 The Queen made a private donation to the fund-raising appeal for victims of the wildfires in Australia. She also requested daily updates on the bushfires and sent HRH The Princess Royal to Australia to visit areas affected by the Victorian Bushfires. On 21st January 2010 HRH Prince William visited the Whittlesea bushfire recovery centre, in Melbourne’s north, where he quizzed Premier John Brumby on the Black Saturday blazes.

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