The first on-ground step in the Wooroloo Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program has started with asbestos stabilisation work completed at 19 properties impacted by the fire.
Jointly funded by the Commonwealth-State governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, the coordinated residential clean-up program assists residents whose homes and property were destroyed or damaged by the bushfire.
As a first step in the clean-up, the City of Swan and the Shire of Mundaring, with support from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), engaged specialist contractors to stabilise asbestos.
City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey said assisting the community with the clean-up effort is the City’s absolute priority.
“While it is important that clean-up work gets underway quickly, the safety of residents, the community and workers is paramount,” Mr Bailey said.
“The City will continue to work closely with our contractors to ensure asbestos removal is managed safely.”
Shire of Mundaring President John Daw said clean up works signalled an important milestone for impacted residents.
“Environmental Health Officers completed inspections of destroyed and damaged properties and identified a handful of properties that required asbestos stabilisation,” he said.
"We are committed to working with our contractors to complete the clean-up in a safe and responsible way.”
DWER Pollution Response Senior Manager Ken Raine said contractors identified areas where asbestos materials had been impacted by the fire.
“Once asbestos is identified, warning signs were placed at the entry point to the property,” Mr Raine said.
“Special binding agents were applied directly to the impacted area to reduce the risk of asbestos fibres being released to the atmosphere.”
The binding agents include a bright blue pigment ensuring treated areas are clearly marked.
“The binding agents work two-fold by highlighting the impacted area and reducing the ability for the fibres to become airborne,” Mr Raine said.
While sites with asbestos are being stabilised, residents who have lost homes and buildings have been contacted by their local government to authorise the next steps of the clean-up.
“Affected residents have been provided with an Authority to Act form to complete and return to their local government enabling access to the sites for clean-up works,” Mr Raine said.
“Once the forms are registered, individual site clean-up planning meetings will be arranged with residents to finalise the clean-up scope for each site.
“Residents who are registered will be contacted in the next week (week starting 22 March) to start scheduling the meetings.”
The Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-Up Program is jointly funded through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, and forms part of a broader $18.1 million community recovery package.
The clean-up program is in response to one of the immediate recovery activities identified by the State Recovery Coordination Group and ensures a whole-of-government approach to recovery efforts.
For more information about the Wooroloo Coordinated Residential Clean Up Program visit wa.gov.au/wooroloobushfirecleanup