The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) fully supports the call by former Victorian Premier John Brumby on ABC radio this morning that a national royal commission into the current catastrophic bushfires be established.

Mr Brumby was Premier of Victoria during the tragic Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 and established a state royal commission into the events in February 2009.

CEO of AFPA Ross Hampton said “Mr Brumby’s support for a nation royal commission is telling because he knows first-hand the limitations of state-based inquiries.  If we are to seriously address the challenges of reducing the effects of bushfires into the future, we must have a national approach.

“We can’t continue to have each state going their own way on bushfire mitigation any longer.  Bushfires don’t respect state boundaries and that is why we need a national royal commission to be established – in conjunction with the states – to look at how we as a nation tackle this problem that will only get worse.

“During the interview, Mr Brumby said that the scale of the current bushfires had taken everyone by surprise.  The forestry industry agrees with this statement and it only serves as extra evidence to support a national royal commission.

“Mr Brumby also confirms our calls for a royal commission because we need a whole-of-landscape investigation that includes the federal government, to develop an overarching strategy to mitigate the severity of bushfires in the future.”