Wangary Bushfires

At approximately 3 pm on Monday, 10 January 2005 a bushfire started in the Wangary District on the Lower Eyre Peninsula. Just before 10 am on 11 January, the first of several breakouts occurred from the fireground. These breakouts spread extremely quickly under strong north-westerly winds.

The fires became known as the Wangary Bushfire. The Wangary Bushfire resulted in the tragic deaths of 9 people, injuries to 115 people, destroyed 93 homes, 316 sheds, 45 vehicles, 139 farm machines, 47,000 livestock losses and burnt 77,964 hectares of land.

A Coronial Inquest into the deaths was conducted and the findings of the Deputy Coroner were handed down on 18 December 2007.

To view the findings read the Wangary Coronial Investigation Findings Summary or the Wangary Coronial Investigation Finding Full Document. 

The then Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon Carmel Zollo MLC, in response to the findings requested the establishment of a working party, headed by Mr David Place, Chief Executive, SAFECOM, to examine and consider the Deputy Coroner's recommendations.

Membership of the working party consisted of representatives from:

  • SA Fire and Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM)
  • SA Country Fire Service (CFS)
  • SA Metropolitan Fire Service
  • SA State Emergency Service (SES)
  • South Australia Police
  • Department for Environment and Heritage
  • ForestrySA
  • Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA
  • Local Government Association
  • Office of Local Government
  • SA Farmers' Federation
  • Department of Treasury and Finance
  • Attorney-General's Department
  • Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure
  • SA Country Fire Service Volunteers' Association
  • Department of Water, Land and Bio-diversity Conservation
  • Native Vegetation Council
  • Department of Families and Communities.

The working party provided advice to the Government and the Government outlined its response to each of the 34 recommendations in Parliament on 17 June 2008.  The Government Response was released along with a Ministerial Statement.  

The legislative changes required will be incorporated into the current work being progressed as part of the review of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005.

The implementation of non-legislative recommendations continues to be coordinated by the Chief Executive, SAFECOM in conjunction with the Wangary Coronial Inquest Working Party representatives. 

An update on progress is available by clicking here

For more information on the implementation of the recommendations, please contact:

David Place, Chief Executive, SAFECOM
Phone: 8463 4069
Post: GPO Box 2706, Adelaide SA 5001