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Published works

Discussion paper: Learning for emergency services, looking for a new approach

TitleDiscussion paper: Learning for emergency services, looking for a new approach
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsEburn, M, Dovers, S
Document Number223
Date Published09/2016
InstitutionBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
CityMelbourne
Report Number223
Abstract

This is a discussion paper circulated for feedback and comment.  The authors welcome your thoughts in response to the following questions, as well as any other thoughts, criticisms, concerns or ideas you would like to share.

Specific questions: 

  1. What do you think the community should expect from post-event reviews?
  2. Are we well served by current post-event review processes?
  3. Are the criticisms of current post-event reviews justified?
  4. Is there value in current post-event reviews that the authors have not identified or given due weight to?
  5. Do you agree with the suggestions for the move to restorative justice practices? Why or why not?
  6. Do you have other suggestions on how post event reviews may be improved and made more meaningful?
  7. How could we improve this report to make it more relevant, meaningful and helpful?
  8. Are there any other thoughts, criticisms, concerns or ideas you would like to share?

This paper reviews the processes used in inquiries following significant natural hazard events, and in particular bushfires.  It is argued that the coroner/Royal Commissioner model has not proved effective in identifying learning that will help communities to rebuild relationships after an event, or develop resilience in anticipation of the next event.

After identifying shortcomings with current practices the paper argues that restructuring post event inquiries. Restorative justice is a concept established in the area of criminal law but it is argued that guidance from the restorative justice community could assist in formulating enquiries that would assist all the parties to come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the disaster and deal with its implications for the future.

The paper also argues that a standing Fire and Emergency Safety Bureau should be considered to conduct some enquiries and to act as a standing secretariat for inquiries in the nature of a Royal Commission.

Issues of compensation for those affected by natural disasters are touched upon.

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