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More questions for police chief
Karl O'Callaghan. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

A committee of State Parliament will meet today to consider re-examining WA's police and fire chiefs over evidence they gave to hearings last year about the Perth Hills bushfire that destroyed 71 homes.

Labor MP Tony O'Gorman said it was open to the community development and justice standing committee to recall Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan and Fire and Emergency Services Authority chief executive Wayne Gregson.

"We do have the power to do that and it will be discussed when we meet tomorrow and Wednesday," Mr O'Gorman said.

A Corruption and Crime Commission report handed down on Friday concluded that it would have been "prudent" for both men to tell the committee in September that they had spoken to one another on the day of the fire.

The CCC was investigating statements made by Mr O'Callaghan to the Keelty inquiry into the fire and the parliamentary committee, which was looking at whether WA was prepared for the coming bushfire season.

The corruption watchdog cleared the Police Commissioner of any misconduct.

One of the issues raised with Mr O'Callaghan by the committee was when he had been alerted to the Perth Hills fire and by whom.

"I would have expected both men to be more up-front about the fact they had spoken to one another that day," Mr O'Gorman said.

When the fire struck in February last year, Mr Gregson was a police assistant commissioner, but by the time the committee held its hearings eight months later he had taken over as the boss of FESA.

The CCC concluded that he was contacted by Mr O'Callaghan at 2.07pm, who asked about a fire he could see around Bentley.

Mr Gregson then rang the police communications centre and was told the Bentley fire was minor, but a fire in the Hills was threatening life and property.

"Did you regard the information that there was a significant risk to life as important?" the CCC asked Mr Gregson.

"Yes," Mr Gregson replied.

He said he believed he had passed that information on to the Police Commissioner, but Mr O'Callaghan disputed that.

Mr O'Gorman said his committee would decide if those conversations were relevant to what was asked of both men when they fronted the hearings after the fire.

"We will have a discussion and will question whether there has been anything misleading, and if that might be the case it's probably right that we bring them back in," he said.

The committee will also ask for advice on the CCC's ability to investigate the statements given to Parliament under privilege.

Until the release of the CCC report, Mr O'Callaghan had always maintained he was first made aware of the Perth Hills fire by a FESA manager at 2.28pm.

He explained to the CCC that he had forgotten about the Gregson calls until the then assistant commissioner reminded him on September 3, about three weeks before the committee hearings.

Former Federal police chief Mick Keelty, whose damning report of FESA's handling of the Hills fire resulted in senior people losing their jobs, said yesterday that Mr O'Callaghan's evidence to his inquiry was a matter for the CCC.