Contractor Laing O’Rourke will soon begin clearing debris from residential and eligible small business properties in the Lithgow region that were damaged or destroyed by bushfire, as part of the NSW Government and Commonwealth funded clean-up program.

Bathurst MP Paul Toole said residents in the localities of Bell, Clarence, Cobar Park, Dargan, Hartley, Hartley Vale, Lidsdale, Lithgow and Running Stream will see crews setting up equipment and inspecting properties, with clearing work commencing, or continuing, from Monday, 27th April onwards.

Mr Toole said COVID-19 health and safety precautions are being taken, including social distancing during site visits, which will allow clean-up work to continue.

Residents could see heavy machinery working in local areas between 7am-5pm on weekdays and 8am-4pm on weekends, which may cause some traffic delays as crews move from property to property.

“Typically, it takes around two days for crews to clear debris from one property, dependent on weather and conditions, and longer for properties where there are hazardous materials such as asbestos,” Mr Toole said.

“The clean-up will remove debris that is stopping people from rebuilding on their property, such as concrete slabs, damaged driveways, dangerous trees or outbuildings near to primary residences and hazardous materials.

“Laing O’Rourke staff will discuss with residents the specifics of how their property will be cleared, including details such as how any personal items located during the clean-up should be handled and what structures should be retained or removed before works start.”

“I know the faster we can clean-up, the sooner communities can start rebuilding and get on with their lives. I hope that clearing the debris away so that it is not a constant reminder will help these localities in the Lithgow region commence the healing process,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Government covering the clean-up cost means insured owners will have more funds to devote to rebuilding and uninsured owners will not be left out of pocket.

“If you have already registered for the clean-up program, you don’t need to do anything more, and there is still time for owners of eligible properties to sign up if they have not already done so by calling Service NSW on 13 77 88.”

Residents with questions about the clean-up can contact Laing O’Rourke by calling 1800 007 539.

For further information about the bushfire clean-up program, or to register, go to www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-opt-nsw-bushfire-clean