Voters at the 2019 federal election (Image: AAP/Kelly Barnes)

Australia's rules for elections are "not adequate" for dealing with emergency situations like a pandemic or bushfires and must be changed, according to an alarming report released by a cross-party group of Australian politicians.

The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee On Electoral Matters has made a number of recommendations as part of its inquiry into how to run an election during emergency situations.

These include giving new powers to the electoral commissioner to expand polling hours and making it easier for people to vote by mail or pre-poll.