With the events of this year continuously testing the resilience of our country, the devastating bushfires in early 2020 may now seem like a distant memory, but for our bushfire recovery team there has been little time to sit and reflect.
With thousands of properties and businesses to support across regional Victoria, our dedicated and community focused project team worked closely with Grocon to manage the State and Federal Government funded Bush Fire Recovery Clean-up Program. Our team, from Melbourne, Albury and Shepparton were tasked with remediating the Towong and Alpine Shires, situated in the north-east region of Victoria.
The Towong Shire covers 6,675m2 of land bordering the Murray River in the north-east region of Victoria and was home to ‘The Man’, Jack Riley, from Banjo Paterson’s famous poem ‘The Man from Snowy River’.
Showing no mercy, relentless bushfires swept through farmland and significant native forest areas, destroying everything in its path. Our team expertly managed the remediation of 188 regional properties situated on large acreage, the majority with sheds and buildings scattered throughout the fire affected land.
With operations managed from a temporary office in Corryong, 120 kilometres east of Albury-Wodonga, Hansen Yuncken’s Victorian regional office provided highly skilled project management and supervision staff to support local and other staff and Class A Asbestos Licenced Contractors engaged to complete the works.
Many hard truths were shared during these meetings by devastated landowners. Experiences of close encounters with the fire were recounted, along with vivid descriptions of homeowners’ efforts to save properties and livestock, as well as the devastating impact on their lives following the fire and devastation.
Our team continuously faced the challenges associated with regional operations, with some sites located 90 minutes apart and some in very remote areas with difficult access. With these circumstances in mind, our project team carefully considered the sequencing of works, prioritising primary residences and structures in which livelihoods were dependent (dairy farms, hay sheds and feed storage). The team was conscious of the race against the clock to ensure completion before the winter months.
Following a 7 month clean up exercise, the 188th property was completed in late August.
Investing back into our local communities, our team has achieved an incredible feat, while simultaneously remediating grief-stricken communities, some on their own doorstep. Helping to boost their outlook, we wish our regional communities all the best for their ongoing recovery.
A huge shout out to our team: Brian McAdam, Dale Martin, Jason Williamson, Jason Henselis, Graeme Spence, Casey Vlaming and Jason Cox.