Bushfire-affected South Coast residents are still living in tents, struggling to get running water and are being left behind because of gaping holes in recovery programs, a Senate inquiry has heard.

Five residents today gave evidence at the inquiry into the devastating 2019-2020 bushfire season. The Senate referred the inquiry into the lessons to be learned from the bushfire season to Finance and Public Administration References Committee in February last year, which has since received 170 public submissions.

The committee then tabled an interim report in October with 13 recommendations, which included developing a sovereign aerial firefighting fleet and streamlining disaster recovery funding assistance. The committee plans to table a final report by December 2021.