NSW Bushfire Clean-Up Program 2020

The Australian 2019/2020 bushfire season was one of the worst in recent times. The season started in early November 2019 in New South Wales, and gradually progressed in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory. Between July 2019 and February 2020, the NSW Rural Fire Service reported that 11,264 bush or grass fires burnt 13 million acres and destroyed over 2,400 homes. The NSW and Australian governments jointly covered the clean-up cost allowing property owners and small business owners to focus on rebuilding their homes and businesses.

The NSW Government appointed Laing O’Rourke (LOR) to manage the NSW bushfire recovery clean-up, working with Public Works Advisory. Following their appointment in January 2020, LOR quickly began procuring contractors to get boots and excavators on the ground as swiftly and safely as possible. JNC Group is proud to have been engaged to participate in this projectfor the clean-up of all properties within the Armidale and Walcha LGAs.

The clean-up included:

  • 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.

The primary focus of the program was on safety hazards and issues that could impede people rebuilding their homes. With safety being the number one priority, testing was initially carried out on all properties to ensure communities were not exposed to contamination, and workers are not exposed to any hazardous materials.

LOR engaged JNC Group to carry out make safe and clean up works in order to maximise local knowledge and expertise, and assist the economic recovery of the Armidale and Walcha communities. JNC Group provided documentation, management, labour, materials, plant, equipment, access and supervision to complete the works.

In under 200 days, the combined subcontract teams achieved incredible results:

  • Clearing more than 3,500 properties across NSW (including 1M tonnes of rubbish removed, 230k tonnes of which was asbestos waste)
  • Meeting and completing in-person inspections with more than 4,000 property owners over 35 Local Government Areas
  • Creating more than 1,000 jobs across 90 local and regional contractors
  • Contributing $45.7M to Aboriginal-owned businesses