NSW Bushfire clean-up information hub

Laing O’Rourke has been appointed by the NSW Government for the important task of coordinating the NSW bushfire clean-up program, and is committed to getting on with the job as quickly and safely as possible. Progress is now well underway right across the State.

This page provides details about the clean-up schedule, including where clean-up work is taking place and where you can talk to someone in person about property clean-up.

We will update this page regularly to provide property owners who have registered for the clean-up program with the latest information about our planned works, progress and community meetings.

The clean-up is an essential step towards moving on for individuals and communities devastated by the bushfires. Damaged properties serve as a daily reminder of the trauma of the events and their removal will allow the community to both physically and emotionally begin rebuilding what was lost.

Our people live and work in the communities that have been impacted and we are committed to delivering this work as quickly and as safely as possible in partnership with local businesses.

COVID-19

COVID-19 is having a significant impact on all parts of life at the moment and for Laing O’Rourke, the health and safety of our people, contractors and the community is absolutely paramount.

While the virus introduces 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.

Laing O’Rourke is implementing a number of its own protections that will force us to adapt some of the ways we communicate and interact with bushfire impacted communities, such as social distancing and other practical precautions for our employees and contractors.

However, this will not detract from our core goal of completing our clean-up project as quickly as possible to help communities take the first step towards rebuilding and recovery.

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

For further information on the steps we are taking, please click here.

Make sure you are registered for clean-up

Sign up here to allow us to contact you and plan works https://apply.service.nsw.gov.au/bushfire-cleanup

I’ve registered, what happens next?

Once you have registered for the program, there are five key steps:

1. Laing O’Rourke staff will contact you to discuss the damage and assess your eligibility.
2. Once the area is declared safe, they will meet with you on site.
3. You approve the scope of works.
4. The clean-up of the property will commence.
5. You confirm the completion of the agreed scope of works.

It is important to note that Laing O’Rourke will always arrange household visits in advance and will not turn up unannounced or demand payment.

Upcoming works

From Thursday, 07 May, 2020, Laing O’Rourke teams will be contacting registered property owners and commencing clean-up works in almost all registered localities across the State.

The table below outlines where Laing O’Rourke teams will be over the next fortnight.

REGIONLOCALITIES
ArmidaleAberfoyle, Armidale, Bald Blair, Carrai, Ebor, Jeogla, Lower Creek, Tingha, Wandsworth, Wollomombi, Wongwibinda
Bega Valley ShireAngledale, Bega, Bemboka, Bermagui, Boydtown, Broadwater, Brogo, Cathcart, Cobargo, Coolagolite, Coolangubra, Dignams Creek, Devils Hole, Dignams Creek, Eden, Edrom, Greendale, Kalaru, Kiah, Merimbula, Milligandi, Morans Crossing, Mount Darragh, Myrtle Mountain, Nadgee, Narrabarba, Nethercote, New Buildings, Nullica, Numbugga, Nungatta, Pericoe, Quaama, Rocky Hall, Tantawangalow, Timbillica, Towamba, Verona, Wallaga Lake, Wallagoot, Wandella, Womboyn, Wyndham, Yowrie
Blue MountainsBell, Berambing, Blackheath, Hazelbrook, Katoomba, Leura, Megalong Valley, Mount Irvine, Mount Tomah, Mount Victoria, Mount Wilson, Woodford
CessnockLaguna, Paynes Crossing
Clarence ValleyAshby, Ashby Heights, Barretts Creek, Billys Creek, Blaxlands Creek, Buccarumbi, Bulldog, Cangai, Coaldale, Coongbar, Deep Creek, Dundurrabin, Ewingar, Fine Flower, Glenreagh, Iluka, Jackadgery, Jacky Bulbin Flat, Junction Hill, Kangaroo Creek, Kremnos, Lanitza, Maclean, Mookima Wybra, Mororo, Mount Marsh, Nymboida, Ramornie, Shark Creek, Townsend, Tullymorgan, Tyringham, Upper Fine Flower, Woombah
Coffs HarbourNana Glen
EurobodallaAraluen, Batehaven, Batemans Bay, Belowra, Bimbimbie, Bingie, Bodalla, Broulee, Cadgee, Central Tilba, Catalina, Congo, Corunna, Dalmeny, Deua River Valley, Eurobodalla, Jeremadra, Kianga, Kiora, Lilli Pilli, Malua Bay, Merricumbene, Mogendoura, Mogo, Moruya, Moruya Heads, Narooma, Nelligen, Nerrigundah, Rosedale, Runnyford, Surf Beach, Tinpot, Tomakin, Tuross Head, Woodlands
Glen InnesDeepwater, Diehard, Dundee, Emmaville, Mount Mitchell, Red Range, Shannon Vale
Greater Hume ShireJingellic, Lankeys Creek, Talmalmo
HawkesburyBermabing, Bilpin, Central Macdonald, Colo, Colo Heights, Kurrajong Heights, Mountain Lagoon, Pitt Town, Upper Colo, Upper Macdonald, Webbs Creek
KempseyBellbrook, Hickeys Creek, Moparrabah, Mungay Creek, Temagog, Toorooka, Willawarrin, Willi Willi, Wittitrin
KyogleBonalbo, Dairy Flat, Deep Creek, Old Bonalbo, Paddys Flat
LithgowBell, Clarence, Cobar Park, Dargan, Hartley, Hartley Vale, Lidsdale, Lithgow, Running Stream
Mid CoastBobin, Bulga Forest, Burrell Creek, Caparra, Elands, Failford, Hillville, Killabakh, Koorainghat, Lansdowne, Marlee, Mooral Creek, Possum Brush, Rainbow Flat, Taree South, Tinonee, Upper Lansdowne, Wallabi Point, Wherrol Flat
Mid-WesternBrogans Creek, Ilford, Running Stream
NambuccaBowraville, Burrapine, Congarinni North, Macksville, South Arm, Talarm, Taylors Arm, Thumb Creek, Utungun, Yarranbella
Port Macquarie-HastingsBellangry, Upper Pappinbarra
Queanbeyan-PalerangCorang, Nerriga, Oallen, Tomboye, Wog Wog
Richmond ValleyBora Ridge, Bungawalbin, Busbys Flat, Camira, Coraki, Ellangowan, Kippenduff, Gibberagee, Myrtle Creek, New Italy, Rappville, Tabbimoble, West Bungawalbin, Whiporie, Woodburn, Wyan
ShoalhavenBarringella, Bawley Point, Bendalong, Beringer Lake, Brooman, Budong, Burrier, Conjola Park, Conjola, Culburra Beach, Currowan, East Lynne, Fishermans Paradise, Kangaroo Valley, Lake Conjola, Little Forest, Manyana, Mogood, Morton, Milton, Nowra Hill, Point-er Mountain, Sanctuary Point, Sassafras, Sussex Inlet, Tomerong, Worrigee, Woodburn, Yalwal, Yerriyong, Yatte Yatta
Snowy MonaroAdaminaby, Anglers Reach, Badja, Bredo, Bumbalong, Cathcart, Colinton, Cooma, Countegany, Creewah, Dairymans Plains, Glen Allen, Jerangle, Michelago, Numeralla, Peak View, Shannons Flat, Paddy’s Flat, Rockton, Rosemeath, Yaouk
Snowy ValleysAdelong, Bangadang, Batlow, Burra, Courabyra, Darlow, Ellerslie Green Hills, Kunama, Gilmore, Kunama, Laurel Hill, Mannus, Maragle, Munderoo, Nurenmerenmong, Oberene Creek, Ournie, Paddy’s River, Sandy Gully, Sharps Creek, Talbingo, Taradale, Tooma, Tumbarumba, Welaregang, Willigobung, Wondalga, Yaven Creek
TenterfieldBolivia, Drake, Rocky River, Silent Grove, Tabulam, Tenterfield, Torrington, Upper Tooloom
WalchaNiangala, Nowendoc, Walcha, Yarrowitch
WingecaribeeBalmoral, Bundanoon, Buxton, Colo Vale, Exeter, Moss Vale, Penrose, Wingello, Wombeyan Caves
WollondillyBargo, Buxton, Oakdale, Tahmoor

An updated program will be published on Thursday the 21st of May.

Community information sessions

Laing O’Rourke is committed to regularly updating and engaging collaboratively with the impacted communities where we are working. However, COVID-19 is obviously having a significant impact on all parts of life at the moment and the health and safety of the community and our people is our highest priority. 

While this introduces a new challenge to bushfire recovery, we’re determined to maintain momentum and keep delivering tangible help on the ground.

As a priority, we are looking at ways in which we can continue to gather information and listen to bushfire impacted communities, so we can keep supporting them on their road to recovery. 

This is a constantly evolving challenge that we are all facing together. We will keep you updated as developments arise.

Opportunities for local businesses

The clean-up may involve:

  • Removal of known hazardous materials, including asbestos
  • Removal of materials destroyed by bushfire and hazardous trees near a destroyed or damaged primary residence or place of business
  • With consent of building owners, removal of concrete slab foundations.

If you are a suitably qualified contractor/supplier interested in working with us to complete these tasks, please register your details at https://gateway.icn.org.au/project/4510/nsw-bushfire-clean-up-program.

Local subcontractors who have already contacted Public Works Advisory, Service NSW and NSW Procurement, or are already prequalified on a relevant State Government scheme, will have their details provided to Laing O’Rourke and don’t need to register again.

Online industry briefings

To help local businesses learn more about the clean-up project and how to tender for works, Laing O’Rourke is partnering with Local Governments to hold industry briefing sessions. 

Given the constraints in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Laing O’Rourke will be hosting these sessions as online webinars that you can access from your phone or computer. 

To date, we have held three webinars featuring Shoalhaven City Council, Snowy Valleys Council, Snowy Monaro Regional Council, Bega Valley Shire Council and Eurobodalla Shire Council.

These have been attended by the more than 400 contractors who took the opportunity to ask questions of representatives from Laing O’Rourke and the respective Councils.

Please see below copies of previous webinar videos and presentations.

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.

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

Community Engagement

As a priority, we are looking at ways that we can continue to gather information and listen to bushfire impacted communities in the context of the COVID-19 arrangements, so we can keep supporting them on their road to recovery. 

Our teams on the ground who are speaking to property owners and conducting inspections have already implemented a range of precautions to ensure the safety of residents and of our team, including:

  • Asking additional screening questions during the initial phone call to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, such as are you feeling unwell at the moment? Have you been overseas in the last 14 days? 
  • Practicing social distancing, including avoiding shaking hands and ensuring Laing O’Rourke representatives stay at least 1.5 metres away from property owners when attending a property to conduct an inspection.
  • Undertaking strict personal hygiene measures and regular sanitising of tools, including pens and clipboards.
  • Staying home if they feel unwell.

With community information sessions and town hall meetings no longer viable, Laing O’Rourke is also working closely with local councils and community groups to identify alternative ways of communicating to the broader community. These might include online information sessions or webinars, or 1:1 meetings conducted at a safe distance.

In the meantime, we are increasing the number of staff working at the dedicated Laing O’Rourke hotline, so if property owners or members of the community have any questions they can call 1800 007 539 to speak with a member of the team.

Clean-up works

Laing O’Rourke’s dedicated project teams on the ground across the state are working closely with our local subcontractors to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while clearance works are undertaken.

These include:

  • Strict personal hygiene measures, including sanitising all equipment before it is used.
  • Additional screening and health checks for local subcontractors before contracts are let.
  • Comprehensive site inductions, including protocols and screening specific to COVID-19.
  • Undertaking meetings over the phone, where possible, or adopting social distancing measures.
  • Ensuring that any staff who feel unwell stay at home and that all staff practice good hygiene by washing their hands thoroughly and regularly.

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

We are committed to getting on with the job as quickly as possible and these measures will ensure we are able to do so while protecting the health and safety of our people and the community. For further information, please call 1800 007 539 to speak with a member of the team.

General program 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:

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