Continuing our bushfire recovery

Local bushfire recovery has continued in the Hawkesbury with lead bushfire recovery contractor Laing O'Rourke conducting assessments of local fire affected properties. Clean ups have now been completed for the majority of eligible properties.

Hawkesbury City Council has been advised by Laing O'Rourke that they have now moved out of the Hawkesbury Local Government Area and will be returning to finalise any remaining work required at a date to be advised. Public Works Advisory have committed to providing Council with a list of all properties that have been cleaned up so that Council can commence follow up inspections to assess if any further tree removal that was outside the scope of Laing O'Rourke needs to be undertaken.

Council is continuing to assist property owners with the clearing of hazardous trees on bushfire affected sites. Currently Council has undertaken over 50 tree inspections on properties in Bilpin, Colo Heights and St Albans.

Various trees have been removed on over 40 bushfire affected properties within the Hawkesbury area. The size and number of trees removed varies from property to property, although some properties have had up to 16 trees removed. Many large radiata pines have also been removed, especially in the Bilpin region where they have been assessed as posing a risk to properties.

Orchard recovery

Work is also progressing with the clean up of orchards in Bilpin, which is funded by the Department of Primary Industries. Tree removals have been completed in all of the originally identified orchards. Council staff are also continuing to liaise with orchardists to assist them with the removal of waste. A Department of Primary Industries Bushfire Recovery Officer met with Council staff in June and they advised that the clean up work over July would significantly increase due to the harvesting season coming to an end along with more grant funding being made available to orchardists. A total of 10 skip bins have been provided to orchardists and approximately 230 cubic metres of waste has been removed to date.

Rebuilding

Council has received an enquiry for rebuilding a Youth Camp in Colo Heights and another to rebuild an orchard in Bilpin to help their businesses recommence following the bushfires. Council is working with these business owners to provide them with planning advice on relevant documentation to accompany a Development Application.

Community connections

Council has started working collaboratively with the Salvation Army to explore opportunities to assist the bushfire affected communities. Council is also continuing to work with Resilience NSW, Habitat for Humanity and Step by Step to organise temporary accommodation for bushfire affected families.

Council is working with Hawkesbury Landcare Network to provide support to bushfire affected properties to provide advice on post-fire land management and conservation. They will be visiting properties, running workshops on topics of interest and building networks for long-term wildlife recovery and bushland management.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Katherine Clare at Hawkesbury Landcare Network on 4574 9601 to register for a site inspection to assess your eligibility.

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