NSW Bushire Recovery

Project Description

The bushfires of 2019 – 2020 destroyed thousands of properties across NSW, including the NSW South Coast region. Principal Contractor Laing O’Rourke (LOR) was appointed to manage the recovery effort on behalf of the NSW State and Federal governments.

Cleary Brothers (CB) were allocated the Eurobodalla Region. RARE Environmental (RARE) were engaged by CB to complete asbestos demolition and remediation.
RARE worked with CB to deliver project management and Class A asbestos supervision for the remediation of over 40 residential properties.

Works involved:

  • Developing project documentation for each site, including:
    • Asbestos Removal Control Plan, SWMS, and Safework NSW asbestos notification
    • EPA Wastelocate material tracking
  • Management of labour, plant, transport and decontamination facilities
  • Liaison with SafeWork NSW, LOR, CB and in many cases occupants of the remediation demolition sites
  • Liaison with occupational hygienist to ensure air monitoring, plant decontamination and site clearances were undertaken and documented.

RARE deployed two remediation teams, including plant operators, self-contained decontamination units, Class A asbestos supervisor and labour. The majority of sites were located in remote rural and agricultural settings, where the implementation of self-sufficient teams and a high level of mobility were essential. Many of the projects required hundreds of kilometres to be covered on un-sealed roads, river crossings and 4wd access.

The project was thoroughly rewarding. The personal nature of excavating fire-damaged residences, including personal belongings with minimal opportunity for recovery was confronting. With some locals still living in camp accommodation more than 6 months after the fires had passed, the resilience of people was apparent – particularly when a ‘clean slate’ remediated site was presented to a property owner. We find many of our staff returning to the Eurobodalla region to witness the rebuild and contribute to the economy.