181 properties out of 196 have been cleaned up, with more than 90 per cent of properties cleared three months on from the disaster. 12 of the 15 remaining sites are either being cleared independently by residents or by insurers outside of government contracts.
“This has been a massive task and I pay tribute to the crews who have worked so tirelessly removing thousands of tonnes of debris from homes that were destroyed,” Minister Constance said.
“In particular, I acknowledge NSW Public Works who’ve done an outstanding job coordinating the clean-up effort.
“The fact that we’ve been able to get nearly all of the affected properties cleared in just over three months is proof that the NSW Government’s response was the right one.
“The Tasmanian bush fire clean-up, through a single contractor, has often been cited as a model that should have been followed in the Blue Mountains – however it took five months for clearance work to be completed there.
“By working in partnership with insurers, we’ve been able to deliver a timely and professional clean-up operation.
Minister Gallacher thanked the Blue Mountains community for their patience and assistance during the ongoing clean-up efforts.
“Understandably, the last few months have been incredibly stressful for residents, and our objective has been to make sure clean-up works were done as quickly as possible so people could get on with rebuilding,” Minister Gallacher said.
“The NSW Government deployed a number of agencies to help with the recovery and clean-up in the Blue Mountains, and staff from Public Works, the Environment Protection Authority, Legal Aid and Fair Trading remain on hand to assist those who have been affected.”
The Bush Fire Information and Support Centre remains open at the ex-Legacy Building at 7/5 Raymond Lance, Springwood. It can be contacted on 02 4751 6423.
Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage said it was heartening to see the significant progress that has been made.
“I have been touched by the resilience of the Blue Mountains community in the way they’ve rallied together to support one another,” Mrs Sage said.
“This is a significant milestone with the clean-up operation nearing completion and I join with the Ministers in praising the crews on the ground who’ve done such a wonderful job.”