The Commonwealth has issued an update on its ongoing COVID-19 inquiry.

The Government has published submissions for its COVID-19 Response Inquiry as part of what it describes as a proactive approach to future pandemic preparedness. 

Acknowledging over 2,000 submissions from individuals and organisations, the Inquiry appears to reflect a desire to learn from the past. 

“There was a common theme in the submissions of wanting to capture the lessons learned, before they were lost to the passage of time,” a government statement highlighted.

Chaired by Ms Robyn Kruk AO, alongside Professor Catherine Bennett and Dr Angela Jackson, the Inquiry has initiated a detailed phase of stakeholder consultations. 

The panel’s mandate is to facilitate an in-depth review of the national pandemic response, including its integration with state government actions and impacts on Australian communities.

Addressing concerns over the Inquiry's scope, Ms Kruk has stated; “The lasting memory for everyone was just how quickly this actually happened”.

“Everybody thinks this will never happen again. When it happens it will not be unprecedented,” she cautioned. 

Under Ms Kruk's leadership, the Inquiry is set to explore crucial areas such as the effectiveness of the national cabinet, health worker safety, and the strategic role of the logistics and supply sector during the pandemic. 

Kruk, who previously led a review for the NSW government’s response, emphasised the Inquiry’s role in completing “the missing piece of the national response to COVID-19”.

Australia's handling of the COVID-19 crisis is considered fairly successful, with a recent OECD report placing it among the top countries in saving lives and securing economic recovery post-pandemic. 

Ms Kruk says she is determined to navigate the complexities of the national response.

“We are looking at the implementation, the impact of those decisions, and what could be done differently. That’s our modus operandi and there is a sense of urgency,” she said. 

The submissions are accessible here.