There have been 137 royal commissions called by the federal government since Federation in 1901. Is it time for our 138th to explore the circumstances surrounding the horrific bushfires?
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is said to be considering establishing a federal royal commission, or maybe NSW could take the rare option of choosing to hold its own state-based royal commission.
Royal commissions are time consuming, expensive and generally speaking have been used sparingly as an instrument to get to the truth of matters of great public importance.
But the 2010s saw these inquiries come back into vogue after being drastically under-utilised in the 1990s and 2000s.
Recent royal commissions have exposed atrocities in the aged care sector and potentially criminal behaviour in the banking, superannuation and finance sector.
And, of course, there was the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, instigated by then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard, which ran from 2013 to 2017.
So, what benefits might there be in calling a royal commission?
The first is that royal commissions are apolitical. Not the decision to have one, mind you, that is often highly politicised, as we saw with the Coalition's resistance to examining the banking industry despite the sickening stench that had long emanated from this sector.
But an independent inquiry, removed from the point-scoring pit of the parliament is exactly what is needed to examine an issue that has become so politically charged.
The second major benefit of a royal commission is that it could - if the terms of reference are set correctly - forensically examine all the forces and factors that have combined to make these fires so devastating.
These include, but are not limited to, land management practices, hazard reduction burns, emergency response times, firefighting equipment and building regulations.
With experts having long warned of a heightened bushfire risk due to a warmer climate, this could be the opportunity to belatedly prepare ourselves for a future that has arrived.
All the best for the week ahead, Ross.