It is immensely difficult to watch the continuing bushfire crisis and not ask the obvious: Why?
The loss of life, property and great swathes of land to the flames is a tragedy on a vast scale, and a desire to ask how it happened it understandable.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, perhaps still smarting from the drubbing he copped for flying off to Hawaii with his family during the crisis, has proposed a royal commission in the bushfires and is is preparing to take his plan to federal cabinet.
Mr Morrison said the inquiry would look at the agency responses, future resilience to bushfires - including hazard reduction - and adaptation, and what a nationally declared state of emergency would entail.
Reaction to the Prime Minister's plan has been mixed, and rightly so.
There will be so many inquiries in the wake of the fires, you have to ask what Mr Morrison is hoping to get out of it, and whether a cumbersome and expensive royal commission will serve any purpose.
Constitutional law expert Anne Twomey doesn't believe such an inquiry is the best option.
"I think the problem with a royal commission is that it tends to be a fairly combative lawyer-expensive exercise, they make a lot of sense when what you're trying to do is reveal stuff people have been hiding," she told ABC radio.
"When the issue is one about government ... probably not so much a royal commission is needed but some kind of other government inquiry."
The United Firefighters Union of Australia has reportedly written to Mr Morrison, pointing out there have already been scores of bushfire-related inquiries over the past two decades.
Instead of pressing ahead with the royal commission plan, the union has proposed a Council of Australian Governments be established to audit all of the existing recommendations from these previous inquiries that haven't been implemented.
The UFUA's national secretary Peter Marshall said previous inquiries had already considered issues such as the deployment of defence personnel, the role of the commonwealth, climate change and prescribed burning and a new inquiry would be doubling up.
There will be so many inquiries in the wake of the fires, you have to ask what Mr Morrison is hoping to get out of it, and whether a cumbersome, long-running and expensive royal commission will serve any purpose.
"Additionally, considerable resources are required to undertake a new, federal royal commission, including significant monetary expenditure, potentially hundreds of days of hearings, and cross-examination of witnesses, which is often a gruelling, emotional experience as the witness is forced to relive the trauma of the fire," Mr Marshall said
"Finally, a federal royal commission has no binding power and cannot compel any state, territory or any other body or individual to accept or implement any recommendations that it makes."
Mr Marshall makes a good point about recommendations being made and not necessarily implemented, and not just when they come from royal commissions.
Over the years, there have been countless coronial inquiries into all manner of different fatal circumstances, where coroners have listened to the evidence and made recommendations that have been ignored.
I'm just not sure that a royal commission is warranted in this case.
There is no doubt that they can do a great deal of good, just look at the banking royal commission or the one into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
Bushfires are a little different because so much information is already in the public eye and so many previous inquiries of different types have been held.
Perhaps what Mr Morrison is trying to do by calling for a royal commission is to try to take the partisan politics out of the issue.
As much of the commentary around the bushfires has also focused on climate change, there has been a ramping up of the political rhetoric, so the Prime Minister could be seeking to put party politics at an arm's length.
But the tragedies of recent weeks should not be used as political weapons. Too many people have died and there has been too much destruction to our countryside and the animals that populate it to just allow them to become mere pawns.