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Insurers' experts to speak on Day 1 of bushfire inquiry

IAG head of natural perils Mark Leplastrier and Sharanjit Paddam, who is head of Environmental, Social and Governance Risk at QBE and also convenes the Actuaries Institute Climate Change Working Group, will address the bushfires royal commission on Monday as hearings get underway.

The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements is beginning with a focus on the changing global climate and natural disaster risk. The first of two blocks of hearings will run from Monday until June 5.

The royal commission today revealed Chair Mark Binskin and his colleagues will hear on Monday afternoon from a panel comprising Mr Leplastrier and Mr Paddam, as well as Risk Frontiers GM Ryan Crompton.

The trio will address the commissioners on extreme weather events and natural disaster risk. The Actuaries Institute publishes the Climate Index, while Risk Frontiers models catastrophes.

Scientists from the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, and Geoscience Australia will also make presentations on climate trends and key drivers of natural hazards such as bushfires, tropical cyclones, floods, hailstorms, tsunamis and earthquakes.

The Commissioners will also hear from Professor Sue Townsend, a Wiradjuri woman who lost her home in fires around the Snowy Mountains town of Tumbarumba, marking the first of many direct accounts of the devastating 2019/20 bushfire season.

The focus of Block 1 of the hearings will be the changing global climate and natural disaster risks, the impact of the 2019/20 bushfires on communities and environments and the responsibilities of the Federal Government for natural disaster arrangements.

The hearings will be conducted as a webcast, and a daily transcript will also be published.