This week marks six-months since the devastating Wooroloo bushfire, which ripped through the local government areas of Swan and Mundaring burning over 10,000 hectares, destroying 86 properties and damaging many more.
The coordinated residential clean-up program is now over 82 per cent complete thanks to an $18.1 million jointly funded recovery package and the consistent hard work of clean-up contractors.
Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the Category C Community Recovery Fund, jointly funded under Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, provided significant support for advancing the recovery efforts.
"The Community Recovery Fund has supported a range of projects, including the coordinated residential clean-up, which is assisting residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged in the bushfire," Minister McKenzie said.
"The program is ensuring the safe removal of bushfire damaged waste to enable rebuilding. Experience from previous bushfires shows that a coordinated program delivers better outcomes for affected residents.
"While we mark this significant milestone, the impacted communities still have a long road ahead and the Australian Government will stand by them and support them in their long-term recovery efforts."
Western Australian Minister for Emergency Services Reece Whitby said there were 137 properties registered for the program, 30 of which required specialist asbestos removal.
"Despite the very challenging weather conditions and the complications of asbestos removal, the clean-up contractors have progressed very well and there are now 112 properties cleared," Minister Whitby said.
"The support provided by the Department of Communities and local government Community Recovery Officers has been vital in supporting community members throughout this process.
"There has also been very positive feedback from local residents regarding the care and consideration that the demolition specialists are showing during the process.
"A number of lost treasures have even been uncovered, including an engagement ring, war medals, china, a child's money box, a Buddha statue, and a grandfather's bayonet with roots in France."
The program is overseen by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, in collaboration with the City of Swan, the Shire of Mundaring, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Department of Communities.
The clean-up is expected to be completed by the end of August.
Other programs covered by the Category C funding include:
- a community recovery and outreach program, including services and initiatives such as a Bushfire Recovery Centre, emotional support services, and community-driven recovery projects.
- a community recreational asset restoration program, assisting with the clean-up and repair of community and recreational assets (for example, walking trails, footpaths, picnic furniture and toilets).
Financial assistance such as Personal Hardship and Distress Grants are also being provided to those affected under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 6300