Bushfire recovery news and events

Read the latest news and updates about the bushfire recovery process. To ensure you don't miss a thing, we invite you to sign up to our mailing list.

This information is correct at the date of publish.

August News

August 16 

As the Wooroloo recovery focus shifts towards rebuilding and the future, the City of Swan and Shire of Mundaring facilitated a community bushfire prone landscaping and environmental planning forum on Saturday the 31st of July to enable new residences are planned in accordance with current knowledge and practices for mitigating disaster impact.

Advice from both local community and industry leaders and personalities focused on establishing sustainable properties and firewise gardens, and fauna & habitat rehabilitation. Specialist staff within State government agencies also provide practical advice in relation to understanding and considering Asset Protection Zone Guidelines, Bushfire Risk Treatment Standards, Property Access and Construction Standards for future planning and understanding local cultural and heritage sites.

  • How to Know, Feel and Heal Country
    A landscape scale view of the Perth Hills ecosystems, history, biodiversity loss, fire, and ways to ‘Heal Country’ focussing on habitat restoration for wildlife.
    Presenter: Simon Cherriman, Ecologist and Science Communicator
    Watch video

  • Sustainable Gardening – Integrating Food, Habitat and Climate Responsive Design
    How gardening can improve the sustainability and resilience of households and communities through a considered approach to garden design, implementation and management.
    Presenter: Josh Byrne, Environmental Scientist and Presenter, ABC Gardening Australia
    Watch video

  • Designing and Creating a ‘Firewise’ Property
    The seven fundamental principles of a ‘Firewise’ home, garden and broader landscape. Whether you’re looking to rebuild or retrofit this will give powerful insights into how to make you, your family and property safer this fire season.
    Presenter: Chris Ferreira, Director of The Forever Project
    Watch video

  • Bushfire Property Standards
    Understanding Asset Protection Zone Guidelines, Bushfire Risk Treatment Standards, Property Access and Construction Standards and firefighter water requirements for future planning.
    Presenters: Craig Scott, Director Land Use Planning, Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Paul Simpson, Principal Policy Officer, Bushfire Risk Management. Department of Fire and Emergency Services
    Watch video

  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
    Understanding local Aboriginal cultural heritage sites, including the recent rezoning of the Wooroloo Brook.
    Presenter: Glenn Shaw, Acting Manager Indigenous Land Use Agreements & Aboriginal Heritage, Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage
    Watch video

August 13

We are now at 125 properties cleared – up from 102 last week – with the last twelve underway. That brings the total up to 93 per cent cleared.

Some interesting statistics to come from this so far on collected materials:  
  • Rubble – 8,350 cubic metres (up from 8,290)
  • Asbestos waste and soils – 3,288 tonnes 
  • General wastes – 3,195 tonnes (up from 3,085)
  • Metal recycling – 108 tonnes 

Access remains an issue at some larger sites, but crews are still aiming for a completion date in August.

The number of properties cleared, as reported in the clean-up program progress updates, refers to the number of properties where all eligible structural demolition work has been completed and associated (in scope) debris has been removed from the site.
 Anyone seeking more information about their clean-up schedule can call 1800 328 997.
The Department of Communities continues to offer welfare support throughout the clean-up and recovery process. To access support, email recovery@communities.wa.gov.au and for urgent matters call the Disaster Response Hotline on 1800 032 965.
The Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program is jointly funded through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement.

August 5

Reflecting on recovery efforts

This week marks six months since the devastating Wooroloo bushfire. We asked our Local Recovery Officer Ian Robinson to reflect on his experience and leave a message for community members who are on the road to recovery.

A refurbished computer could be yours

Here is a photo of Gidgegannup resident, Virginia Abson, and her furry friend with their generously donated computer from the Wanneroo Community Men’s Shed.

For those who missed last week’s update, the City of Swan facilitated a wonderful donation from the Wanneroo Community Men’s Shed for people impacted by the Wooroloo Bushfires.

The Men’s Shed generously donated 30 refurbished desktop computers, inclusive of the latest software, monitors, all leads and a mouse.

If you were impacted by the Wooroloo fire, you are invited to apply for a refurbished computer by contacting the City – bushfirerecoverygroup@swan.wa.gov.au

There will be an allocation of computer per household, and applications will be reviewed by the City and Department of Communities.

July news

July 22

Come and check out the new Rotary Club Tool Library

WA Rotary Bushfire Relief have opened their Tool Library in Tilden Park. Their opening hours for the foreseeable future are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1– 4pm. They are located at Charlie Miles Fire Dam Reserve, opposite 162 Tilden Drive, Gidgegannup. 

For more information, please email bushfirerecoverygroup@swan.wa.gov.au

Government funded residential clean-up

Nine properties have been completed this past week, taking the total number of sites cleared to 86, with 63 per cent of registered properties have now been cleared.

Work is progressing well, despite challenging weather conditions over the last fortnight.

  • In the last week, 6,101 cubic metres of rubble has been diverted from landfill and sent for recycling, up from 5,671 cubic metres in the previous week
  • More than 72 per cent of waste is being recycled

Residents seeking more information about their clean-up schedule can call 1800 328 997.More information available at www.wa.gov.au/wooroloobushfirecleanup

State Government Emergency Relief Funding is closing

Please note that Applications for the State Government Emergency Relief Fund will close on Friday July 23, 2021. We’d like to take the opportunity to thank the State Government for all their support in relief and recovery.

Please get in touch with bushfirerelief@swan.wa.gov.au for any questions.

Bushfire Community Recovery Centre - new opening hours

Visit the  Bushfire Community Recovery Centre to talk to City staff and relevant agencies about the recovery efforts and services available, including clean-up, to funding and welfare support.

  • Opening hours: Wednesdays 9am-5pm, Thursdays 9am-6pm and Fridays 9am-5pm (or by appointment)
  • Location: Unit 4, 2125 Toodyay Road (next to the Gidgegannup Bakery and Cafe)

 

July 8

Wooroloo Bushfires clean-up program update

Work has continued during lockdown, with 10 more properties cleared, taking the total to 67. 

Despite the forecast of rain in the first week of the school holidays, contractors are on track to complete the clean-up in August. 

Asbestos removal progressed well, with 675 tonnes of asbestos-containing material, including soil, removed in the last week. The amount of asbestos waste now totals 2,330 tonnes. 

Nearly 300 tonnes of general waste was removed, with the total sitting at 2,220 tonnes.

Rubble recycling continues, with more than 72 per cent of waste being recycled for reuse. Certificates of Clearance will be issued when works are completed. 

If you are seeking information about your clean-up schedule, please call 1800 328 997.

The Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program is jointly funded through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement. 

Apply for a desktop computer

In fantastic news, we have just received a donation 30 refurbished desktop computers by the Wanneroo Men’s Shed. The donations include computers with latest software, monitors, all leads and a mouse.

If you lost a desktop computer in the fire, you can apply for one of these refurbished computers by emailing bushfirerecoverygroup@swan.wa.gov.au and your application will be assessed in consultation with the Department of Communities. We ask for one application per family please.

We thank the Wanneroo Men’s Shed for this wonderful donation.

City of Swan Community Recovery Centre reopens after lockdown

Our Bushfire Recovery Team are excited to be back for in-person visits at the Recovery Centre, back to the usual opening hours. A reminder you can give feedback on the opening hours here. 

Time: Open Wednesday to Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturday from 9am - 12pm
Location: Unit 4, 2125 Toodyay Road (next to the Gidgegannup Bakery and Cafe)

 

Thank you BlazeAid

BlazeAid have now wrapped up their work in the area, and what an amazing job their volunteers have done over the last few months.

We sincerely thank everyone involved for their hard work to get fences up and properties cleared as part of the recovery efforts, which have made a big difference to improve the lives of others.

We also congratulate BlazeAid founders Kevin and Rhonda Butler for receiving the 2021 Farming Legends of the Year Award. Hear more about their story on ABC.

June news

June 25

Update on the coordinated clean-up program

The sunny days (and cold mornings) have allowed crews to make good progress this week. Nine properties have been completed this week, taking the total properties to 57, up from 48 last week. Contractors are on track to complete the clean-up in August.

  • Rubble recycling continues with 4,666 cubic metres removed and recycled, up from 3,755 last week.
  • An additional 427 tonnes of general waste were removed (more than doubled since last week), with the total now sitting at 1,925 tonnes
  • Asbestos removal resumes, with the amount of waste (including soil) now totalling 1,655 tonnes, up from 1,430 tonnes last week
  • A priority of waste disposal is diverting it from landfill – more than 72 per cent of waste is being recycled and reused

Residents seeking more information about their clean-up schedule can call 1800 328 997.

Tell us what you think

Help us plan our services and support by telling us your recovery needs, and any preferences for the opening of the Bushfire Recovery Centre. If you have a few minutes to fill out a quick survey, we would appreciate hearing your thoughts. Complete survey

Qualifying for a free water tank

The City has made some changes to the eligibility criteria to ensure those most in need get a tank:

  • Those that have a pod and no additional water tank and priority will be given to families
  • Those that do not currently have a household water tank due to the fire
  • Those that were uninsured for lost water tanks
  • The tanks are for household use and not for livestock purposes
  • Recipient to arrange transport and collect from Gidgegannup and you will require an 8 x 5 trailer as a minimum transport requirement.

We will also take into consideration any extenuating circumstances, if some of the above criteria cannot be met. To apply, please email bushfirerecoverygroup@swan.wa.gov.au with a summary of your circumstances.

June 10

Financial assistance for businesses

Professional advice and vouchers are available for businesses to get back up and running. This includes $2,000 retooling vouchers to replace damaged business equipment, such as tools of trade, or $500 towards business advice such as legal or accounting. 

For more information or to apply visit www.bizrebuild.com.au or email voucher@bca.com.au

Help with building processes

A City of Swan Building Officer will be stationed at the Bushfire Recovery Centre every Wednesday between 10am and 4pm for the foreseeable future. If you have an enquiry about the building process around rebuilding a house or shed, please come and have a chat with us. The Building Officer can also provide general information on planning matters.

Pro-bono architecture and design services

Get help with the design and build of your home. Architects Assist is an initiative of over 600 firms working pro-bono to help and support those affected by natural disasters. To get started visit www.architectsassist.com.au

June 4

Update on residential clean-up program

As at June 4, steady progress with the clearing of blocks has continued, with a total of 33 properties now completed, up from 26 last week.

Rubble recycling is in full swing, with 2,688 cubic metres removed and recycled. 875 tonnes of general waste have been disposed of and 36.4 tonnes of steel have been recovered and will be recycled.

Asbestos removal is also progressing well, with the amount of waste (including soil) totalling 725 tonnes, up from 491 tonnes last week.

More than 1,000 tonnes of general waste have been removed.

Crews on the ground are being asked about tree removal. Please be aware that trees will be removed only if the removal is required for the safety of demolition work. Your understanding around this is appreciated.

As a general rule, residents can expect to be called one to two weeks ahead of works commencing on their property. Residents seeking more information about their clean-up schedule can call 1800 328 997.

For those residents with cleared properties, the next step is clean sand delivery, in accordance with the agreed site-specific clean-up plan.

Certificates of clearance will be issued when works are completed.

For more information visit www.wa.gov.au/wooroloobushfirecleanup

 

May news

May 28

Update on the residential clean-up program

As of May 28, demolition, and debris and asbestos removal has been completed on a total of 26 properties of the 140 registered.

Rubble recycling is progressing well, with 2,069 cubic metres removed and recycled. 875 tonnes of general waste have been disposed of.

Asbestos removal remains a key focus. To date the total amount of asbestos waste removed is 491 tonnes (including soil), an increase of 327 tonnes in the past week. Asbestos removal is a complex and painstaking process and the specialist clean-up crews are working hard to ensure safety is a priority for the 31 properties containing this hazardous material.

Once a property is cleaned of debris, the next step isfor the site to be environmentally tested to confirm the removal of all previously identified hazardous materials. Clean sand will also be delivered upon request. A clearance certificate to confirm the completion of site works in accordance with the agreed Site Clean-Up Plan will be issued to the resident after a final site visit.

Residents seeking more information about their clean-up schedule can call 1800 328 997.

May 15

Home supplies for Minderoo pods, fencing supplies and tools

Please get in touch with the bushfire recovery team to organise the following:

Pod kits – families who are receiving a Minderoo Pod are eligible to receive a pod kit designed to provide everything they need to be able to use their pod straight away. These kits include bed and bathroom linen, kitchenware and cleaning equipment.  

Fencing materials and loan fencing tools – available to fire affected residents in conjunction with Rotary. Volunteers are continuing to manage the distribution of these materials as well as the loaning of tools such as fuel-driven post drivers, strainers and other fencing tools. 

You can email the team at bushfirerecoverygroup@swan.wa.gov.au or call 0438 242 356 during business hours. 

May 7 

Demolition and site clean-ups 

Demolition and site clean-ups are now well underway, with six property clean-ups now complete.

Four contracted crews continue to work on demolition and removal with an additional crew commencing soon.

A total of 146 properties have now registered for the clean-up program and 138 site visits have taken place.

Residents taking part in this clean-up program will be contacted shortly to discuss scheduling for their property.

Residents seeking information about their site planning meetings or the on-ground works schedule can call 1800 328 997.

April news

April 30 

Residential Clean-up Program update 

A total of 135 site visits have taken place since the Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program was announced, meaning site visits are almost completed. Property clean-ups are underway, with demolition completed on three sites. Construction and demolition material is being removed with 116 cubic metres being recovered in the first three days of works. Metal, bricks, and rubble are being separated for recycling. Registered residents seeking information about site planning meetings or the on-ground works schedule for their properties can contact 1800 328 997.

April 28 

Water tank for community use 

Residents can access free, clean water from the City of Swan’s Gidgegannup Office. A water tank has been placed behind the office located at Unit 4, 2125 Toodyay Road. Residents can collect the anti-vandalism key and fill up during opening hours, which are Wednesday to Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturday from 9am - 12pm. There is no limitation on quantity for fire-affected residents.

Shire of Mundaring residents are also welcome to access the tank. The City thanks Water Corporation for providing this service for our community.  

Water tank.jpg

 

Cancelled - Dr Rob Gordon Webinar

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions which place a limit on gatherings, this event has been cancelled. It is anticipated to be rescheduled for June - we will post the new time and location when it is made available. 

April 27

Cancelled -  Community Recovery Update and Dinner

The Community Recovery Update and Dinner planned for Thursday, April 29 has been cancelled due to current COVID-19 restrictions. At this stage, the next community dinner planned for Thursday, May 13, is expected to go ahead pending a review of the 20 person restriction. More information will be provided as public health advice becomes available. 

April 22

Free animal feed pick-up point now closed

Please be advised that the animal feed point at Gidgegannup Showgrounds has now closed. The City of Swan thanks the volunteers who kept this running, including local resident Karen Andrich and Dusty from EASE WA. 

April 21

Donated plants and gardening items

A group of dedicated community members are organising plants and gardening donations for those in the fire-affected area. Pick up details are:

  • Pick up on Saturday, May 1 | 9am - 4pm
  • Gidgegannup Hall, 2171 Toodyay Rd
  • Please bring a box or bag to carry your items

Organised by the volunteers at Inner Wheel Club of Cowan at Sunset, more information on the Facebook event. You can contact the club on iiw.au.cowanatsunset@gmail.com or call 0477649879.

April 16

Rates relief and building/planning fees to be waived

City of Swan Council have voted to apply rates concessions to bushfire-affected residents and waive building and planning application fees, representing an estimated $476,000 saving for ratepayers and those rebuilding in the fire affected area.

  • For ratepayers, the decisions made at the April 14 Council Meeting means:
  • For properties that are damaged but the house is habitable, the City will apply a one-off pro-rata credit for the 2020/21 Council rates for the period from 1 February to 30 June 2021.
  • For properties that are destroyed and the houses are not habitable, the City will apply a one-off credit for the full 2020/21 Council rates.
  • Total credits are estimated at $191,000, and does not apply to the Emergency Services Levy, as this charge is not under the City's control.
  • The total amount is subject to change dependant on number of applications.

The City will also waive fees for planning applications, building permits and certificates, onsite effluent disposal and for temporary accommodation under the Caravan Park and Camping Act for a period of three years, representing approximately $285,000 in concessions.

Anyone who was affected by the bushfire, and who has already paid a planning or building fee, will be refunded accordingly. 

Read the full story here.

April 14

More people able to access Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund

This week, a rapid disbursement of $10,000 has been made available to people that suffered partial structural damage to property during the recent Wooroloo and Hills bushfires. The decision by the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund (LMDRF) Board means that owner occupiers who suffered partial damage to their place of residence, or who suffered other property damage and loss, will receive $10,000 immediately.

That includes damage to verandahs, gutter downpipes, outdoor decking, sheds, fencing, water tanks, machinery, pumps, tools, power poles and telecommunications. Occupiers who suffered partial damage, or loss of contents such as sheds, tools, machinery and other equipment are also eligible to receive $10,000.

 Read the full story here

April 13

Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program Update

 
Since the Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program was announced, a total of 142 residents (129 from the City of Swan and 13 from the Shire of Mundaring) have registered for the program. To help finalise the clean-up program schedule, impacted residents who have not already lodged an Authority to Act form to their local government and would like to register for the program must do so by midday Friday, April 16.

To date, 39 site planning meetings have been held and on-ground debris removal works will start on Thursday, April 15. Registered residents seeking information about site planning meetings or the on-ground works schedule for their properties can contact 1800 328 997.

April 12

Ablution blocks available in Tilden Park

Showers and toilets are now available for community to use at Tilden Drive near the Charlie Miles Fire Dam Reserve, opposite 162 Tilden Drive. The City is arranging regular cleaning, fuel and water tank top-ups. As the generator requires refuelling periodically any assistance from the local community in topping it up from the supplied fuel tank would be appreciated. If you are available to assist, please email bushfirerecoverygroup@swan.wa.gov.au or call 0438 242 356.

Update on government funded residential clean-up program

Thuroona Services Pty Ltd has been awarded a contract to demolish fire-damaged structures and remove debris. Thuroona will focus on removing asbestos-containing materials and has extensive experience in managing complex asbestos remediation projects. Thuroona were responsible for the post-fire asbestos stabilisation works for the City of Swan and Shire of Mundaring.

Thuroona joins McMahon Services and GHD as contractors engaged by the State Government under the Wooroloo Coordinated Residential Clean Up Program. 

April 9

Update on government funded residential clean-up program

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has now processed 140 Authority to Act forms from residents impacted by the Wooroloo bushfires in the City of Swan (127) and the Shire of Mundaring (13). The next step is meeting residents on their properties to develop a site-specific plan for the clean-up.

By the end of last week, 17 site planning meetings had been completed. Another 22 have been scheduled for this week. The aim is to complete all site planning meetings within the next six weeks.

GHD, who are coordinating the meetings, have established a hotline for residents to contact regarding scheduling of the site planning meetings and can be contacted on 1800 328 997.

A second hotline for information on the scheduling of demolition and debris removal will be established shortly and provided to residents. Demolition works are expected to start on 12 April.

The City of Swan has also completed all verge safety works. Our next steps are to re-install or fix road infrastructure, signage and asphalt, and complete bridge maintenance where there is damage. 

For more information visit www.wa.gov.au/wooroloobushfirecleanup

Red Cross volunteers in the heart of bushfire country

Red Cross are out and about visiting more than 1,500 properties to check-in and provide support to our community.

See some of their travels pictured above. If you see them out and about, say G'Day! Georgia (middle photo) was greeted by a friendly four-legged resident on arrival, and Johno (on the right) got to meet the delightful Gildy the Goldy in Brigadoon.

The wonderful team are also providing psychosocial support at community gatherings and training for staff and community leaders. These initiatives will continue for at least the next 12 months.

Looking after yourself

It can be difficult looking after yourself and feeling well when you are under pressure, especially over a long period of time. Life can be challenging and it is normal to feel stress sometimes. But longer term, stress does not resolve without direct action. For some practical tips on managing your stress levels, visit www.redcross.org.au/recovery

You can also reach out any time to talk. Call the City's recovery team on 0438 242 356 during business hours.  

April 1

Rural Revegetation Program

This year, the City of Swan is expanding its eligibility criteria for the Rural Revegetation Program to include City residents that have been affected by the Wooroloo bushfires. While the landscape around your property may seem damaged beyond repair right now, the good news is that if you have natural bushland nearby, you will start to see new growth soon. We endeavour to further support this incredible regeneration of the natural environment through this program.

Applications open April 2 and close 4pm sharp on April 30. 

Visit www.swan.wa.gov.au/revegetation to apply.

Update on government-funded clean-up program

Demolition and debris removal contract awarded
McMahon Services has been awarded a contract for demolition and debris removal as part of the Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program. The specialist demolition company has recently completed a similar clean-up project on Kangaroo Island in South Australia and will bring this experience and expertise to the Wooroloo clean-up program. They are currently mobilising resources, and it is expected work will commence shortly after Easter.

Site planning meetings underway
The program’s environmental contractor, GHD, is contacting residents who have lodged Authority to Act forms to arrange Site Planning Meetings.

If you have any questions about your site planning meeting, please call the new hotline on 1800 328 997. A second hotline for the demolition and debris removal bookings will be set up once works commence.

Read more

 

 

 

March news

March 26

Recovery Centre Relocation

 

Following the Easter long weekend, the Community Bushfire Recovery Centre will be relocating to the Gidgegannup Place Office (next to the Bakery).

The centre will be open from 9am until 5pm Wednesday to Friday and 9am until 12pm on Saturday. The CWA will also be moving their physical donations and other support, such as food to the CWA Hall at the Gidgegannup Showgrounds – where support with stock feed will also continue to be available.

The City of Swan would like to convey its sincere appreciation and thanks to the Gidgegannup Recreation Club for their support and hospitality over the last two months, the movement of the Recovery Centre will now enable other community activities to recommence at Percy Cullen Oval.

Gidgegannup Place Office address: Unit 4, 2125 Toodyay Road (next to the Gidgegannup Bakery and Cafe), Gidgegannup 6083

Local Heroes

The City has been engaged with many residents who have gone above and beyond in helping the community recover from the recent bushfires.

If you know of someone who has gone above and beyond in supporting the Gidgegannup community recently, please let us know via bushfirerecoverygroup@swan.wa.gov.au.

Ease WA Access Free Animal Feed changing hours

The opening hours for the free animal feed at Gidggeannup Showgrounds is now 10am-2pm daily (closed on Mondays and Wednesdays). 

 

March 23

Site planning meetings start

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has processed 131 Authority to Act forms for residents from the City of Swan (119) and the Shire of Mundaring (12) as part of the Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program. The State Government is working with the Insurance Council of Australia and its members to ensure the clean-up program helps to maximise the insurance benefits available for residents with insurance. Refer to the Insurance Council of Australia - Clean-up factsheet which provides information for insurance policy holders.

Environmental contractor, GHD has started contacting residents who have lodged Authority to Act forms to arrange meetings as soon as possible. The first meeting was held on Tuesday. Each impacted resident meets with the contractor to go through the details of the program as it will apply to their impacted property.

Sites with asbestos are being prioritised to remove this potential hazard from the community and a hotline for impacted residents to enquire about clean-up timelines specific to their site will be established shortly. Contracts for demolition and debris removal are being finalised and will be announced shortly.

Read more

 

March 19

Update on financial assistance payments

Thank you to everyone who's submitted an application for bushfire relief funding. In good news, this week the Board of the Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund (LMDRF) approved an additional payment of $25,000 for all owner occupiers whose homes were destroyed in the recent Wooroloo and Hills Bushfire, bringing the total eligible amount up to $50,000. The payment will be deposited into approved applicant’s bank accounts this week - if you haven't already submitted your application, visit www.swan.wa.gov.au/lordmayorfund

The LMDRF Board have now broadened the categories of assistance (as of this week) to home owners who suffered partial property damage, or lost other property such as water tanks, fencing and sheds. The City will now assess these applications and make recommendations to the City of Perth. Please note, loss of livestock, smoke damage and loss of income are not being considered currently, however will be addressed by the LMDRF sub-committee in the near future.

The LMDRF Board also approved an additional category for payment, which means people choosing to rebuild can access up to $2,000 to assist with additional costs associated with Bushfire Attack Level approvals. The application process for this assistance will be developed in consultation with the City of Swan.

Process for financial support payments

The City of Swan is working with funding bodies to help get financial support payments processed as soon as possible. Our role is collecting and assessing applications against the criteria. So far, we've received 164 applications for the LMDRF and 217 for the State Government Bushfire Relief Payments.

For the Bushfire Relief Payments, the City also processes the payment on behalf of the State Government.

For the Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund (LMDRF), the City reviews and forwards eligible applications to the Board of the LMDRF who determine if the application is approved, or if more information is needed. Once the Board has all required information and the application is approved, the money is paid directly into the applicants account by the City of Perth as soon as possible.

We acknowledge the process has taken time for some applications to be fully processed and we thank you for your patience. It's our priority to provide support to you as soon as possible, while ensuring the funds are managed responsibly to protect our community.

How much am I eligible for?

LMDRF: This week, the board of the LMDRF approved an additional payment of $25,000 for owner-occupier applicants with total loss of property, bringing the total amount eligible to $50,000. The second $25,000 payment is being deposited into approved applicant’s bank accounts this week.

Occupiers of properties (those renting) where the house and its contents have been destroyed, are eligible to receive $25,000.

State Government Bushfire Relief Payments: $4,000 to those whose homes have been destroyed and $2,000 to those whose homes have been damaged.

For more information and to apply:

Apply here for the Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund.

Apply here for the State Government Bushfire Relief Payments.

If you have any questions, please call our Bushfire Recovery team on 0438 242 356 or email bushfirerecoverygroup@swan.wa.gov.au

First contract for Clean-Up Program awarded

The first contract for the Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program has been awarded. Environmental contractor, GHD has been appointed to manage the Site Planning Meetings and environmental testing processes. GHD has started the process of contacting residents who have lodged Authority to Act forms to arrange Site Planning Meetings as soon as possible. The first individual site clean-up planning meetings have been scheduled and will start on Tuesday (23 March). Sites with asbestos are being prioritised to remove this potential hazard from the community.

Further contracts for demolition and debris removal are being finalised next week.

A hotline for impacted residents to enquire about the site planning meeting process specific to their site will be established shortly and provided to impacted residents.

 

March 17

Stabilising asbestos in Wooroloo

 

The Wooroloo Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program has progressed with the completion of its asbestos stabilisation work at 19 properties.

The binding agents used on these sites are a bright blue colour to make sure areas are marked clearly for cleaning teams, and to make sure no asbestos fibres are released into the atmosphere. We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the clean-up as it progresses.

The Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program is collaboration between the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), the Shire of Mundaring, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA (DFES) and the City of Swan. The clean-up is designed to assist residents whose homes and property were affected by the bushfire.

For more information visit www.wa.gov.au

 

March 16 

Behind the scenes with Disaster Relief Australia  

 

Disaster Relief Australia are on deck helping our bushfire-impacted community clean-up after the Wooroloo fire. Now recovery is well underway, the team invite you to visit their base this weekend and see what they're all about.

Saturday, March 20, 9am - 12pm
Mundaring Arena - 50 Mundaring Weir Road

We are thankful to have the DRA team on board to help with all sorts of jobs from chainsaw work, to debris clean-up and bobcat and escavator work.

The volunteers are not only rolling up their sleeves to get the job done, but working hard to understand the needs of our local people and provide support.

If you'd like to get involved, visit www.disasterreliefaus.org/volunteer/

 

March 12

Environmental recovery

 

We're seeing some more growth in the affected areas – this time at FR Berry Reserve. Have a look at what looks like a Xanthorrhoea (grass tree), but is actually called Kingia australis. On the right are these new Grevillea sprouts coming through.  

Our latest update to the Bushfire Dashboard is about environmental recovery. In it, we cover native wildlife, fire management on your property, weed control, designing a more firewise garden, native species selection for revegetation, and reducing erosion on your property.

Get to know more about the road to recovery at the Environmental Recovery page.

 

March 5

From little things

 

While the landscape has taken a mighty hit from the recent Wooroloo bushfires, already you can begin to see nature beginning anew. Take a look at these new green sprouts from the Xanthorrhoea – a native tree that is resilient in bushfires.

 

March 4

Team spirit 

 

Incredible effort from our Ellenbrook and Swan Valley community who organised a charity cricket match to raise $20,000 for the Wooroloo fire recovery. You continue to amaze us with your generosity and Aussie mateship, in the worst of times and in the best. If you would like to make a personal donation to The Lord Mayors Distress Relief Fund visit www.appealswa.org.au

 

March 3

All clear signal 

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA has given the All Clear for the areas of Avon Valley National Park, Bailup, Brigadoon, Bullsbrook, Gidgegannup, Upper Swan, Walyunga National Park and Wooroloo. While firefighters will still monitor the area, and there is a lot of work still to be done, this is incredible news for everyone involved.

We'd like to take a moment to once again thank all the incredible bravery, strength and kindness that the firefighters and volunteer firefighters, volunteers, businesses and everyday residents have shown during this intense month. The Bushfire Community Recovery Centre is available at Percy Cullen Oval and Pavillion in Gidgegannup for anyone seeking a range of support services for local residents to get back on their feet.

 

March 1

All hands on deck

Crews are now focusing remediation works along Mayo Road, only one outage remaining that requires underground remediation work until the new poles arrive.

An additional 16 connected services will be restored this week at Herne Hill along the Great Northern Highway/Upper Swan area.

Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program

As you may be aware the Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-up Program has commenced and you may be eligible to apply for this assistance. The clean-up will ensure safe removal of bushfire damaged houses, structures and vehicles as well as trees deemed a safety risk, from residential blocks to enable rebuilding.

If you are a resident of the City of Swan who has been impacted by the bushfires, we will have already contacted you, or will do so in coming days by phone or email, to provide you with an ‘Authority to Act’ form that will allow contractors who are engaged by the State Government to carry out debris removal on your property.

Once the ‘Authority to Act’ form is approved, you will be contacted to arrange a site clean-up planning meeting to go through the details of the debris removal process program.

February news

February 24 

Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-Up Program Announced

The City of Swan and Shire of Mundaring welcome today’s announcement by Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon Francis Logan MLA to commence the Wooroloo Bushfire Coordinated Residential Clean-Up Program.

The residential clean-up is part of an $18.1 million Commonwealth and State funded community recovery package and will assist residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the Wooroloo bushfire.

The clean-up will ensure safe removal of bushfire damaged houses, structures and vehicles, as well as trees deemed a safety risk, from residential blocks to enable rebuilding.

Residents whose homes have been destroyed or damaged by the bushfire are eligible for this clean-up program whether they are fully insured, partly insured or not insured.

The clean-up will be led by the State Government and closely supported by the City of Swan and Shire of Mundaring. Applications will be available through each local government.

"We thank the Commonwealth and State Governments for their announcement today to plan and deliver a coordinated clean-up of the Wooroloo fire area," City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey said. "Assisting our community with this clean-up is our absolute priority and I am glad to hear the details have been finalised.

"There is a monumental effort ahead of us and the City of Swan and Shire of Mundaring will be there every step of the way. We’re here for our community and ready to get this underway."

"We welcome this support from the State and Commonwealth Governments," Shire of Mundaring President John Daw said. "The clean-up is a really important step for our communities as they begin the process of healing and recovery.

"We will continue to work with key agencies as we move through each stage of the recovery and are committed to supporting our residents for as long as it takes."

If you are a resident of the City of Swan, you will be contacted directly by your respective local government in coming days by phone or email to commence the process.

Visit DWER's website for more information.

 

Bushfire Recovery Centre Update

There are lots of friendly faces out at the Bushfire Community Recovery Centre, including the Red Cross team, pictured here with Mayor Kevin Bailey.

From Wednesday, March 3, the recovery centre will be open from Wednesday to Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday from 9am-12noon.

Joining us today and Wednesday are the Bindoon Mobile Recovery Campaign suicide prevention group.

Services, hardcopy information and support available at the recovery centre includes ADRA Australia, Minderoo Foundation, Bindoon Mobile Recovery Campaign, The Salvation Army WA, Department of Communities, Centrelink, Australian Red Cross - WA, RAC WA, Western Power, Legal Aid, Water Corp, Telstra, insurance providers (SGIO, Elders, WFI, CGU and Coles Insurance), Shire of Mundaring and City of Swan.

The full list of services is available here.

If you lost your birth, marriage or change of name certificate in the bushfire, the team at the recovery centre can also help you organise a replacement. Please see the team in person and bring any ID you have.

Find the Recovery Centre at Percy Cullen Oval and Pavillion, 1990 Toodyay Rd, Gidgegannup

Additional financial support

If you’ve been adversely affected by the bushfires, there have been a number of updates to financial support made available by NAB, HBF and CWA Rapid Response Funding.

NAB
If you are a NAB customer and have been affected by the recent bushfires NAB is ready to support you. Please call the special number, 1300 308 132 to discuss the options that may be available to you.

HBF
HBF is offering an exemption for HBF Premium fees. To discuss available options call 133 423.

CWA Rapid Response Funding
The Country Women’s Association’s Community Fund is offering quick grants of up to $500 for individuals/families who have had losses as a result of the bushfires.

If you live in the affected areas and as a result of the fire, are experiencing financial stress, please complete the form available on their website.

For more information on these and many more options, visit www.swan.wa.gov.au/bushfire2021, call us for information on 9267 9267, or visit our Bushfire Recovery Centre, Administration Building or any of our Libraries. We are here to support you and help get you back on your feet.

Animal feed distribution

People in the Wooroloo bushfire area can access free animal feed from the Agricultural Pavilion at Gidgegannup Showgrounds, located on the corner of Toodyay Road and Old Coach Road West. 

Point of contacts are as follows:

  • For general enquiries and to volunteer call Karen Andrich on 0419 005 312
  • For enquiries about stock call Dusty - EASE WA on 0436 389 445

    Further information on looking after animals in emergencies is available from the DPIRD website www.agric.wa.gov.au

Skip bin locations

 

Skip bins have been placed at the below locations for residents to use for general waste:

  • Gidgegannup Showgrounds in the carpark adjacent to the CWA building
  • Noble Falls Tavern
  • Pickett Park car park area in Bullsbrook
  • Lillie Road, Gidgegannup
  • Rollinghills Drive, Brigadoon - carpark at Rollinghills Park
  • Connemara Drive Brigadoon - carpark at the end of Wallaby Road

 

Additional skip bins are available at the following locations:

  • Corner of Ewing Road and Clenton Road
  • O'Brien Road, between Misty Close and Lancewood
  • Corner of Reen Road and Treechange Rise
  • Corner of Reen and Poteroo Retreat
  • Reserve Road between Reen Road and Berry Road
  • Corner of Ewing Road and Berry Road
  • Corner of Stock Road and Reserve Road
  • Corner of Old Coach Road East and Tilden Drive
  • Corner of Brennan Rise and Kooringal Vale
  • Corner of Noble Falls Road and Mayo Road
  • Corner Breeze Road and Mayo Road
  • Corner of Aspen Road and Noble Falls Road
  • Corner of Berry Road and Clenton Road
  • Corner of Lillie Road and Falls Heights
  • Corner of Aspen and Toodyay Road

Note: Please do not place any hazardous waste e.g paint, chemicals or asbestos or any construction material e.g sand, rubble in these bins.

General waste and green waste tip passes are also available at the Bushfire Recovery Centre.

February 24

Water Corporation update

 

If you are a residential or business customer impacted by the Wooroloo bushfire, Water Corporation has financial support and assistance options to help you get through this difficult time. Information follows and can be found on the Water Corporation website.

Support for customers who have lost their property
Customers who have lost their property will have their account adjusted. In addition:

  • All existing charges will be waived
  • All new service charges will be waived until February 2022
  • No cost for the replacement of your fire-damaged water meter
  • Building application fees and water service disconnection or reconnection fees will be waived.

Customers in the red zone area
If your property was in the red zone area during the fire, you will automatically receive a 20kL allowance on your water use. You don't have to do anything as we've applied these measures automatically.

Support for customers with property fire damage
If you have experienced property damage as a result of the bushfire, an allowance of up to 50kL on your water use will be granted (pending individual circumstances). You will not incur any costs for replacing a fire-damaged water meter. Flexible payment options and payment assistance, such as putting your account on hold through our Time Assist program, is also available.

Allowance for customers who defended their property
If you defended your property during the bushfire, you’re eligible to receive an allowance of up to 50kL for water used to defend your property, pending individual circumstances.

Assistance with property repairs
Any fire-damaged water meters will be repaired at no cost to you. You’re also eligible to receive up to 20kL allowance on your water use (pending individual circumstances), to help with the recovery and clean up.

Allowance for businesses providing temporary housing for evacuees
If your business provided free accommodation for bushfire evacuees, you’re entitled to receive up to 20kL allowance on your water use. For businesses who assisted with the temporary arrangements for the agistment of livestock and horses or who’s water use is negatively impacted in some other way due to the fire should contact us on 13 13 85, and we will consider assistance on a case-by-case basis.

Additional requests for financial support
Any requests for higher allowance will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If at any time you’re having trouble paying your bills, we have various flexible payment arrangements to help make your payments easier.

How to apply
To apply for a water use allowance, please call Water Corporation on 13 13 85.

 

Telstra update

Telstra's restoration program

  • Telstra has completed the scoping activity to restore services across the fire zone.
  • Five teams have been working to scope damage since being granted access to the fire ground by emergency services. The teams have also undertaken immediate restoration work where possible.
  • In total, there are 195 customer affected services across the fire zone. Our local teams have begun remediation work with some services restored and more being restored soon.
  • At this stage more than 6km of cable is required to replace the aerial and underground network in the fire zone. In addition there are 36 poles, 33 pits and 60 joints to be installed and repaired.
  • The restoration program means that Telstra will have restored cable to the customer’s properties with customers then able to assess the reconnection of their services to their residences.
  • Our biggest challenge involves the aerial cable replacement and installing the new poles. We are working with our industry partners to expediate these activities.
  • We continue to work with our customers through the disaster relief package which provides a range of offers to help people reconnect.

    The teams are currently working on restoration of services in Gidgegannup at the following locations:

  • Bailup Road
  • O’Brien Road
  • Reen Road
  • Reserve Road
  • Old Coach Road East
  • Tilden Drive


Telstra Assistance package

Telstra has announced an assistance package for its residential and small business customers who have lost services due to the major fires that first started in Wooroloo.

Telstra Regional General Manager Boyd Brown said the package which includes mobile call diversion, a boost to data and free calls as well as reconnection support would be extended to those based in Gidgegannup, Herne Hill, Upper Swan, Red Hill, Ellenbrook, Bullsbrook, Wundowie, Parkerville and Red Hill.

Mr Brown said the major fires had impacted Telstra’s mobile, landline and internet services and technicians were currently working closely with emergency services trying to reconnect these communications when safe to do so.

“We know this is an extremely challenging time for everyone in the community and it’s vital for people to be able to stay in touch with family and friends,” he said.

“Our techs are working hard to get these impacted services back online as soon as they can and I am pleased to say several mobile sites have now been provided with gensets and are up and running.”

Mr Brown said Telstra was providing access to free calls and free Telstra Air Wi-Fi through local payphones for everyone in the affected area.

“We hope this will help to keep people connected and enable locals to ensure families and friends can be kept up to date on any needs for assistance.”

Telstra customers may be eligible for additional help through this assistance package. Mr Brown said customers who have been displaced from their home or business during this disaster are able to access additional help including call diversion options and once off data/free call top ups.

For customers who have been displaced from their residence or business during a natural disaster event, short-term assistance can include:

  • Calls diverted from a fixed line service to another number while you're displaced from your residence or business (to Australian numbers only)
  • 25GB data pack for post-paid mobile customers (applies for the remainder of your current billing cycle, please contact us should you require further data)
  • 25GB prepaid data and free calls (30-day expiry, not transferrable to another service)

There may also be longer term assistance available for Telstra customers who have suffered severe damage to or loss of their premises and require longer term assistance.

The long-term assistance package includes:

  • Free call diversion from the customer’s Telstra fixed phone service to another Australian fixed or mobile service of their choice, regardless of the carrier.
  • Telstra to cover up to $500 for the connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at one temporary residence; or Re-connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at the customer’s original permanent premises.

Please call 1800 888 888, enter your phone or mobile number and talk to our teams to find out how we can help.

A great outcome for our animals

 

In good news, one possum, 46 alpacas, 30 pigeons and three donkeys are among a list of more than 750 animals checked by the animal response team during the Wooroloo Bushfires.

The team, made up of City of Swan, Shire of Mundaring, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), and local vets, visited impacted areas to search for and treat pets, wildlife and livestock.

Pictured on the left is a ram treated for smoke inhalation, who is expected to make a full recovery. On the right is little Lucy who had her paws injured - of course a hug at the end was an essential, scientific part of the treatment process.

Read the full story here.

 

February 18

Bushfire rates relief

The City of Swan is proposing to apply a rates concession to ratepayers whose properties have been impacted by the Wooroloo bushfires.

The proposal was first considered at last night's Council meeting, and deferred to the March 17 Ordinary Council Meeting. This gives the City time to assess the full impact of the fires on affected ratepayers so Council can consider rates relief. It's important we don't miss anyone in this important process.

It’s possible that rates fourth rates instalment notification letters may reach a few residents in the bushfire impacted area. This is because the administration process for releasing the rates fourth instalments took place before the bushfire started.

We have made every effort to prevent bushfire impacted property owners from receiving fourth instalment letters prior to their distribution. If your property was impacted by the Wooroloo Bushfires and you receive a fourth instalment letter, please do not feel pressured to pay it at this time. We will communicate with you once Council has made a decision on the matter in March.   

A range of additional financial support is currently available to affected residents including Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements WA (DRFAWA), Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund, Services Australia Disaster Recovery One-Off Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance, and Bushfire Relief Payments funded by the Department of Premier and Cabinet and administered by the City.

For more information on these options and to apply visit www.swan.wa.gov.au/bushfire2021, call us for information on 9267 9267, or visit our Bushfire Recovery Centre, Administration Building or any of our Libraries.

We are here to support you and help get you back on your feet.

Clean up and waste removal

 

The City of Swan are working in tandem with Western Power, assisting them to clear trees as they move through to restore power poles and lines.

At the moment verge maintenance and clearing is the priority. The first crew starts by lopping trees and branches that are fallen, or are in danger of falling.

Behind them is another team that comes through and feeds them through the large wood chipper. Afterwards a team with small chippers clears up all the smaller branches and rakes up leaves.

Watch the video

Free financial counselling and advice

Losing your home or suffering damage in a bushfire is an extremely difficult and emotional time - while nothing can replace what you've lost, financial assistance is available to help you get back on your feet.

You can find some of the key financial assistance options available at www.swan.wa.gov.au/bushfire2021.

If you have questions or would like help with your applications, please visit our team at the Bushfire Community Recovery Centre. There are also financial counsellors on hand to help guide you through your decision making.

Rural West
Financial counselling for individuals and families experiencing financial distress as a result of the Wooroloo bushfire now available through Rural West.

This service is an extension of what is already available to regional small businesses and primary production enterprises. The experienced Rural West team will work with clients to manage both immediate and underlying issues for a positive and sustainable future.

For more information visit www.ruralwest.com.au - call the team on 1800 612 004 or email admin@ruralwest.com.au

Midlas
The team at Midlas are supporting people to access available grants and payments, assess insurance entitlements. They can also help pay for vulnerable people to go into more suitable accommodation until their claims are processed or they can return home. Please call 0499989936 to get an appointment.

 

Swimming pools

 

After a bushfire, a swimming pool may contain debris including ash. This may affect the chemical balance of the water and cause contamination.

Contaminated swimming pools can be:

  • a source of odours and bacteria
  • a breeding place for mosquitoes
  • a risk to people who use them

    There are several crucial steps pool owners can take to clean and maintain their pool to ensure it can be safely used again:

  • To start with, it is important to remove as much debris and ash from the pool and ensure the skimmer and pump baskets are clean
  • Remove as much debris as possible from the surface of the water with a leaf rake
  • Turn the pool pump on to skim any remaining ash and leaves from the surface of the water
  • Take a water sample to your local store to be assessed and they will advise what’s required to safely rebalance your pool water and ensure it’s fine for swimming
  • The service technician will also advise whether the pool requires flocculant
  • If the ash and dirt is substantial, use a liquid or granular flocculant to make the debris and organic matter drop to the floor
  • Clean your filtration. For cartridge filters, remove the cartridge and hose it down. For sand and media filters, backwash and rinse the filter
  • If staining has occurred, see your local retailer for the appropriate solution

For more information, visit the Department of Health website or email swimmingpools@health.wa.gov.au

Reconnecting properties to power

 

Power is now starting to be restored to the remaining customers affected by the Wooroloo bushfire, with around 75 customers reconnected to the network. Power is now restored to the area East of Toodyay Rd bound by Dinsdale Rd and Allen Street.

Reconstruction of the electricity network is well underway with over 438 poles and 37 km of powerline conductor replaced in the last 8 days. Construction work is complete in the areas along Toodyay Rd to Aspen Rd, and Reserve Road.

The rebuild is nearing completion in Reen Road and the area east of Toodyay Rd to Dinsdale Rd; and has commenced in the Tilden Park area. Works are commencing in the O’Brien Road area this week.

Read the full update here.