Commonwealth and states share bushfire clean-up effort

By Shannon Jenkins

January 30, 2020

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The federal and New South Wales governments will go halves in the costs for the clean-up of residential and commercial properties destroyed by the bushfires that burnt the state.

The partnership mirrors a similar approach adopted by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments following the Black Saturday bushfires.

The clean-up is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The final figure will not be known until the fires have ceased.

The NSW government has appointed construction firm Laing O’Rourke Australia to lead the clean-up.

Laing O’Rourke said the majority of properties would be substantially cleared by mid-year, with a focus on residential properties, according to Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

“With 2,399 homes destroyed and more than 10,000 buildings damaged or destroyed all up, we have a long journey ahead of us,” he said.

“The contractor will also be working hand in hand with Public Works Advisory to engage local suppliers and subcontractors, to keep local economies ticking over.”

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said said impacted owners wanting their property cleared need to call Service NSW on 13 77 88 to register their details and provide consent for access to their land.

The governments have been working with the National Bushfire Recovery Agency to make the clean-up process as easy as possible for property owners.

Earlier this month the Victorian government announced the state and Commonwealth governments would jointly provide up to $75 million for the clean-up process.

Development company Grocon has been selected to undertake the clean-up program and will be available on the ground as soon as Victorians register. The company previously led the 2015 Wye River bushfire clean-up.

Victorian property owners can register for the clean-up program at the Bushfire Recovery Victoria website or by calling 1800 560 760.

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