Transition Process | Property numbers and clean up progress | Registration and clean-up process | Information for the community | COVID-19 | Feedback and Complaints | Mental health support services | Need more information?


Laing O’Rourke was engaged by the NSW Government in late January 2020 to accelerate the clean-up of 2,800 fire damaged properties across the State.

After clearing these initial 2,800 properties by June 30, Laing O’Rourke was asked to stay on board to continue clearing additional properties that had recently registered for the program.

As at 20 July, Laing O’Rourke has cleared more than 3,200 bushfire affected properties across the state, bringing the total number of clearances to more than 3,300, including those completed by the NSW Government prior to our appointment.

At the end July, direct responsibility of site clean-ups was handed back to Public Works Advisory who will lead efforts on the next stage of the NSW and Federal Government funded bushfire clean-up program.

Laing O’Rourke couldn’t have done this without the support of local communities, businesses and our supply chain partners across the State. Thank you for your trust and support over the past five months.

As this hand-over occurs, the NSW Government and Laing O’Rourke remain acutely aware that there are still eligible properties registered to be cleared.

Please be assured, we are absolutely focussed on ensuring no one is left behind and that properties are cleared as quickly and as safely as possible.

It is important to note, registrations are still open, the bushfire clean-up program does not currently have an end-date to opt-in.

You can register by contacting Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visiting https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-opt-nsw-bushfire-clean.

Further details about the transition process are outlined below.

Transition Process

Information for property owners awaiting the completion of their clean-up

If Laing O’Rourke has already completed an inspection of your property or has commenced clearance works, unless advised otherwise, you will continue to have your clean-up managed and completed by Laing O’Rourke.

From end July 2020, Public Works Advisory will take on the management of any new registrations, in addition to a small number of isolated properties in challenging locations, to ensure that no one is left behind.

Regardless of which category you fall under, a member of the team will be in touch with individual property owners to discuss your circumstances and provide further information about the clean-up process.

The dedicated call centre and email service will continue to operate and we encourage you to contact 1800 007 539 or nswbushfirecleanup@laingorourke.com.au if you have any questions about this  process.

Information for property owners awaiting completion certificates

Laing O’Rourke and Public Works Advisory will continue to work with residents who have recently had their properties cleared to issue their completion certificates and close out their individual clean-up projects.

The dedicated call centre and email service will continue to operate and we encourage residents to contact 1800 007 539 or nswbushfirecleanup@laingorourke.com.au  if you have any questions about the transition process.

Ensuring no one is left behind

As we move to clean-up the remaining properties as quickly and as safely as possible we have worked hard to identify any more property owners who were bushfire affected, but have not registered.

To achieve this, Laing O’Rourke and Public Works Advisory have been working closely with local Service NSW outlets and local Councils to cross reference their data so we can proactively contact anyone identified as having experienced bushfire damage to ensure they are aware of the registration process.

This process has helped us to identify and assist a number of property owners that had not yet completed their registration for the program, which is a great result and represents another way the project team is working to ensure that all eligible properties in NSW access this free clean-up. 

We also have specialist teams working to find the most efficient way to clean-up some of the final and most challenging bushfire affected properties.

A number of these are located in extremely remote parts of the state, beyond damaged bridges, or over difficult river crossings. There’s no doubt that clearing these final properties will be a challenge, but we’re committed to getting it done.

Every person who has registered should have heard from Laing O’Rourke by now. So, if you know someone who hasn’t heard from the team, please ask them to get in touch to double-check their registration and get an update on the progress of their clean-up.

They can register by calling 13 77 88 or visiting www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-opt-nsw-bushfire-clean.

If you are still waiting for your clean-up or if you have any questions about the clean-up program please contact the team on 1800 007 539 or email nswbushfirecleanup@laingorourke.com.au.


Property numbers and clean up progress

It is important to note that the NSW Government’s bushfire clean-up program is opt in, and its primary purpose is to make properties safe and clean up destroyed homes and businesses, so that people can get on with their lives.

Post registration, qualified contractors will determine the eligibility and safety requirements of properties. 

The clean-up may include:

  • removal of known hazardous materials, including asbestos
  • removal of materials destroyed by bushfire, and hazardous trees near the destroyed or damaged primary residence or business premises
  • removal of damaged driveways that could impact on the safety of the clean-up
  • with the consent of the building owners, removal of concrete slab foundations.

For more information on the eligibility visit Service NSW HERE 

It’s also not too late to register. Anyone can register by calling 13 77 88 or visiting Service NSW HERE 

Every person who has registered should have heard from Laing O’Rourke about their clean-up by now. So, if you think you might be registered but you’re not sure or you haven’t heard from the team, please get in touch to confirm. You can check your registration by calling 1800 007 539 or emailing nswbushfirecleanup@laingorourke.com.au

Please see below the latest data as at 03 August 2020.

The total number of eligible registrations is subject to change as registrations are still open and eligibility assessment is ongoing. The number of eligible properties includes registered hibernated properties and registered properties that have been cleared through insurance companies or by owners and are awaiting reimbursement.

Please note a small number of properties were cleared by PWA prior to the statewide registration process, that is why in some areas the number of cleared properties exceeds the number of registered properties.

Local Government AreaTotal number of eligible registered propertiesNumber of properties cleared to date by Laing O’Rourke through the NSW Government’s clean-up programNumber of properties cleared by Public Works Advisory prior to the commencement of the Laing O’Rourke program
Armidale1210
Bega Valley711660
Blue Mountains3736
Central Coast86
Cessnock2423
Clarence Valley1731715
Coffs Harbour1818
Eurobodalla7617481
Glen Innes Severn686616
Goulburn Mulwaree77
Greater Hume Shire99
Hawkesbury4240
Kempsey87837
Kyogle77
Lithgow102100
Mid Coast11310614
Mid-Western2221
Nambucca75734
Port Macquarie-Hastings27261
Queanbeyan-Palerang10598
Richmond Valley444220
Shoalhaven4434351
Singleton33
Snowy Monaro6459
Snowy Valleys301295
Tamworth22
Tenterfield454315
Tweed44
Upper Lachlan64
Walcha1716
Wingecaribee138129
Wollondilly4645

Further information for the community

Waste management

How is the clean-up program managing waste from impacted properties?
  • Laing O’Rourke is committed to getting on with the clean-up of impacted properties as quickly and as safely as possible.
  • Obviously, many of these properties suffered significant damage – both in the initial fires but, for many, also in the subsequent storms and floods.
  • In addition to this, many of the impacted properties – especially on the South Coast – include asbestos that must be very carefully managed to protect the community.
  • These challenges make the clean-up job complex. To make sure all properties are cleared to the same high standard, we must take the time to get the job done right.
How much waste needs to be moved?
  • We expect that between one and two million tonnes of material will need to be cleared across the State as part of the clean-up.
  • This is the largest and most complex waste removal program ever undertaken in the State.
Where will the waste go?
  • Laing O’Rourke has been working closely with local councils, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Public Works Advisory (PWA) to ensure the proper waste disposal that licensed landfill sites.
  • Laing O’Rourke has access to sufficient licensed landfill sites to safely handle the disposal of the large quantities of waste that is expected to be generated.
  • For more information about this, please email nswbushfirecleanup@laingorourke.com.au
Is waste being recycled, where possible?
  • Laing O’Rourke is undertaking all best endeavours to identify and recycle materials wherever possible, but only when it is appropriate and safe to do so.
  • Potential recycling opportunities include: 
    • Crushing concrete and masonry to be used for temporary road base or for use on local road projects;
    • Mulching green waste; or
    • Reusing scrap metal.
  • However, there are strict rules that do not permit the recycling of waste that is suspected to contain or contains asbestos. Unfortunately, the high proportion of asbestos in many properties limits the opportunities for recycling.
Asbestos Certificates

If you are seeking asbestos sample results for your property, please email nswbushfirecleanup@laingorourke.com.au.

If the samples were collected during by government teams during the building impact assessments, the results will be made available to you in a report. The report will be emailed to you when it is completed.

Clearance Certificates

After your property has been cleared, you will be issued a clearance certificate. If you have any questions about the process, please email nswbushfirecleanup@laingorourke.com.au.


COVID-19

Steps to protect the community and our people from COVID-19

The clean-up is an essential step towards moving on for individuals and communities devastated by the bushfires and Laing O’Rourke and the NSW Government recognise how important it is that we continue to deliver.

While the pandemic has introduced a new challenge to bushfire recovery, Laing O’Rourke and the NSW Government are determined to maintain momentum and continue providing tangible help to fire-affected communities across NSW.

We have implemented a range of measures to help protect the health and safety of our people and the community.

This is an uncertain and constantly evolving challenge that we are all facing together but Laing O’Rourke and the NSW Government are committed to regularly updating and engaging collaboratively with the impacted communities in which we are working.

For further information about our response to COVID-19, please call 1800 007 539 to speak with a member of the team.


Feedback and Complaints

To lodge a complaint about any aspect of the program, you can call 1800 007 539 or email nswbushfirecleanup@laingorourke.com.au.

The Laing O’Rourke team will work with you to try and resolve your complaint within seven calendar days. In some instances, this may take longer, and we will keep you updated on the progress of your complaint. 

We may work with Public Works Advisory or other NSW Government agencies to resolve your complaint.


Mental health support services

Natural disasters are traumatic events and have an impact on much more than just the physical environment. They can have a profound effect on the mental health and wellbeing of affected communities.

We encourage anyone seeking support at this time to engage with the broad range of mental health and wellbeing services that can be located here https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/bushfire-customer-care-service/mental-health


Need more information?

For more information about the NSW bushfire recovery clean-up program visit Service NSW https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-opt-nsw-bushfire-clean

For more information about Laing O’Rourke activities in your community: