The mammoth job of cleaning up Eurobodalla after this summer’s devastating bushfires is officially underway.
A home in Bateman Street, Mogo, was chosen as the first south coast site for the NSW Government’s clean-up program, which is being led by engineering giant Laing O’Rourke. Attending the official kick-off bushfire clean-up operations in Mogo today were Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, Member for Bega Andrew Constance, Assistant Police Commissioner Mick Willing and the Managing Director of Laing O’Rourke Cathal O’Rourke with Eurobodalla Council represented by Mayor Innes to mark the milestone.
The NSW Government and the Commonwealth are covering the full cost of cleaning up eligible properties destroyed by bushfires since July 1, 2019. The Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, was unable to attend the event as she was touring the Eurobodalla region visiting others in the community in need of support and guidance. Mrs Phillips did say of the milestone event "I want to make sure that all impacted people are receiving this service as quickly as possible. I encourage everyone impacted to register to ensure you can be included in this process. If you have any trouble or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my office".
With 2500 homes lost and 10,000 impacted across the state, Mr Barilaro said it would be the largest rebuild program in NSW history.
“The fires have stopped, the excavators have arrived, your tomorrow starts today,” Mr Barilaro said.
Assistant Police Commissioner Mick Willing said the start of work was a visible sign of progress. “It’s going to take a long time, waste management is a huge problem.”
Eurobodalla Council’s director of planning Lindsay Usher said material from today’s clean-ups would be taken to Surf Beach tip.
“We’re close to finalising a waste management agreement with the NSW government that will see a large percentage of the demolition waste accepted at our tips using NSW government-supplied machinery and labour to manage the vast volumes. Running it over our weighbridges today means we see real volumes and brings us closer to finalising an agreement.”
Mr Barilaro recognised the work Council had done on the ground, and encouraged local residents to register while Clr Innes acknowledged the level of emotion around the start of the clean-up effort saying, “Today is a hard day but it is a big step down the road to recovery. We want to warmly welcome Laing O’Rourke to the shire and thank the NSW Government for picking up the cost. It means so much to people."
Both insured and uninsured properties used for residential, small business or primary production purposes are eligible for the clean-up program.
Property owners can register online or call Service NSW on 13 77 88.