On 6 January 2016 the communities of Yarloop and surrounding areas in the Shires of Harvey and Waroona were impacted by a devastating fire. Tragically two people lost their lives. In addition, a Western Power employee lost his life while working to restore power. The fire affected an area of 69,000 ha with a perimeter of 398km. 181 residential properties and businesses as well as a large number of farm buildings and sheds were destroyed.
Given the significant impact of the fire, the Premier directed the Public Sector Commissioner to hold a special inquiry pursuant to section 24H(2) and (3) of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 to examine the organisation and management of the bushfire. The report of the special inquiry titled Reframing Rural Fire Management: Report of the Special Inquiry into the January 2016 Waroona Fire, was tabled in Parliament by the Premier on Thursday 23 June 2016. Information about the conduct of the special inquiry, including the report and submissions, can be found on the Public Sector Commission's website:
The comments period for the Inquiry has closed. If you have any further queries please don't hesitate to contact the Waroona Inquiry Inbox
The Premier also appointed Dr Ken Michael as State Recovery Controller. Dr Michael established the State Recovery Coordination Group to coordinate and facilitate speedy and equitable treatment of the needs arising from the fire. The first meeting was held in Waroona on Monday 25 January 2016. Mr Rene Baur, who oversaw the clean-up following the Parkerville-Stoneville-Mt Helena Fire in January 2014 which saw 57 houses destroyed, has been appointed as the Project Manager of the State Government clean-up project. The Government's intent is to ensure the clean-up of damaged homes across the fire affected area is undertaken as quickly as possible, at the same time ensuring the safety of remaining community members and workers.
The Commonwealth and State Governments will meet the costs associated with the clean-up required to make homes safe and habitable. The initial treatments of the risks in the affected area have already been completed.
Dr Michael has completed his role as State Recovery Controller following the issuance of a final report on the outcomes of the clean-up and the community consultation. The Final Report can be found here - State Recovery Controller - Final Report