Visit our COVID-19 page for information and advice on the assistance available for NSW residents and businesses.

The NSW Government and the Commonwealth are covering the full cost of cleaning up eligible NSW properties that have been destroyed by bushfires since 1 July 2019.

Public Works Advisory (PWA) has appointed Laing O’Rourke Australia to lead the clean-up. They'll be engaging qualified local contractors and local suppliers where possible, to maximise local knowledge and expertise, and assist the economic recovery of the communities.

For the latest information on Laing O'Rourke's schedule visit their NSW Bushfire clean-up information hub or call 1800 007 539.

Both insured and uninsured properties used for residential, small business or primary production purposes are eligible for the clean-up program.

Trained and licensed contractors will determine the safety requirements and the eligibility of properties.

The clean-up may include:

  • removal of known hazardous materials, including asbestos
  • removal of materials destroyed by bushfire, and hazardous trees near the destroyed or damaged primary residence or business premises
  • removal of damaged driveways that could impact on the safety of the clean-up
  • with the consent of the building owners, removal of concrete slab foundations.

The program focuses on safety hazards and issues that could impede people rebuilding their homes. For example:

  • the clean-up costs of outbuildings that are uninhabitable or unusable that are located within the vicinity of a primary residence or business operation are covered
  • the clean-up costs of septic tanks are not covered unless they present a safety issue.

With safety being the number one priority, testing will be initially carried out on all properties to ensure communities are not exposed to contamination, and workers are not exposed to any hazardous materials.

You need to opt in to the clean-up program and register your property. You can do this online or call Service NSW on 13 77 88.

If you're not able to register through Service NSW, Laing O’Rourke will help with your registration directly, when they are on the ground in your location.

If you registered with PWA last year, your details will be passed on to Laing O’Rourke. You do not need to register again with Service NSW.

Once you've registered:

  1. Laing 0'Rourke staff will contact you to discuss the damage and assess your eligibility.
  2. Once the area is declared safe, they will meet with you on site.
  3. You approve the scope of works.
  4. The clean-up of the property will commence.
  5. You confirm the completion of the agreed scope of works.

Laing 0'Rourke will always pre-arrange any household visits and will not turn up unannounced or demand payment. If you have any concerns, please visit Check a builder or tradesperson licence.

Work will be undertaken simultaneously on the North Coast, South Coast, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys and other impacted communities across the State.

Most residential properties will be substantially cleared by 30 June 2020, but it may take longer for isolated properties in remote areas and regions where there is still active fire.

The following factors will be considered in determining which properties will be prioritised for clearing:

  • properties where there is safe access to affected areas, including no ongoing fire events
  • properties with known hazardous materials, particularly those close to neighbours or vulnerable community facilities, e.g. schools, hospitals and town centres 
  • where there is a strong community need and property owners have registered and given permission for works to be conducted on private property
  • availability of demolition contractors to conduct the works
  • availability of landfill for disposal of debris.

The cost of clearing properties will not be deducted from the funds available under insurance policies. Where insurance companies have already commenced clean-up works for eligible properties, Government will cover the reasonable cost of work already underway or completed.

Owners of business/commercial premises

Clean-up costs for all large and corporate businesses will be met by the owners or their insurers. Insurers can choose to opt in to the clean-up program and reimburse Government for services.