Bushfire report an internet hit

The 360-page document into the February 7 disaster has been downloaded more than 20,000 times since its release on Monday.


As of Wednesday, users had downloaded over 300 gigabytes of data – the equivalent of downloading 270 DVD movies or watching 2,200 hours of YouTube clips.

That kind of internet traffic for a government report is considered “phenomenal,” says Quentin Fogarty, a spokesman for the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

The interest came mainly from Victoria, but users have also flocked to the site from as far away as America, the United Kingdom and across Europe.

In total, nearly 30,000 unique users from 65 countries have visited the site over the past few days.

Key recommendations

The internet traffic exploded in the hours after the report’s release, forcing the commission’s computers to push out data at a rate of over one gigabyte nearly every two minutes.

In the first four hours of the report being posted, over 100 gigabytes of data was downloaded.

The commission’s IT department was expecting the surge in internet traffic and no computers crashed during the bandwidth surge, Mr Fogarty said.

Residents have also been getting paper copies of the report by calling a government information line, but no data on how popular that method has been is available.

The commission’s report into the February 7 disaster made 51 recommendations, including changes to the “stay or go” policy to emphasise the safest option in a fire is too leave early, or risk death.

The Royal Commission’s hearings will resume on Monday.

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