Cross-border commissioners are confident changes will be made before the next fire season to enable Victorian and NSW residents to get help if their closest option happens to be a relief centre across the border.
There have been stories relayed to the Royal Commission of people turned away from emergency support during the fires because they had come from interstate.
NSW cross-border commissioner James McTavish said yesterday that he was confident cooperation between states would be in future plans.
"There's no reason why people shouldn't be able to access those facilities interstate. We're keen to make sure there are more formal arrangements put in place," he said.
"We need to make sure that we integrate that with both NSW and Victorian welfare agencies."
MORE NEWS FROM THE ROYAL COMMISSION:
- Injured firefighter's burns care left to volunteers due to ambulance delays
- Emotional and economic pain of fires not helped by cross-border issues
- Telcos benefit from blackspot funding more than bushfire zones, says CEO
- App fail: If there was a fire across the border, phones didn't show it
- Bushfires were more intense, even for farmers with local knowledge
- Industry was decimated as tourists were told to 'get out'
- Tired resident forced to evacuate during fires, then crashed into a tree
Both Mr McTavish and Victorian cross-border commissioner Luke Wilson, who lives in Wodonga, backed calls for the emergency warning mobile phone apps in both states to use the same language and symbols, and include information from across the border.
"Obtaining emergency information in border regions can be time-consuming and difficult for residents," Mr Wilson said in his statement.
"These apps are not necessarily consistent in the symbols used to communicate particular fire information.
"Further, it was necessary for these residents to use other apps in order to obtain information about road closures."
He also told the Royal Commission about a cross-border issue solved at the time, when Towong Shire students who go to school in NSW were able to "hitch a ride" on NSW buses when the Victorian ones were cancelled, saving parents hours in travel time.