The 2019/20 bushfires wrought physical, financial and emotional devastation. Laing O’Rourke’s rapid response supercharged recovery by offering certainty.NSW Bushfire Clean-up
- Project Name NSW Bushfire Clean-up
- Client Public Works Advisory, NSW Government
- Location Regional NSW
- Status Complete
When an area equal to over half the UK was scorched by the Black Summer bushfires, tens of thousands of lives were disrupted. In NSW alone over 6000 properties were damaged in more than 437 localities spread across 45 local government areas.
The response had to be rapid, but at the same time empathetic. Lives had been devastated, losses were immeasurable and livelihoods, particularly amongst local small and medium businesses, had gone up in flames.
Laing O’Rourke was urgently appointed by the Public Works Advisory to lead the NSW Bushfire Clean-up, inspecting, evaluating, planning and delivering clean-up works.
Scale, speed, sensitivity
Our people drew from past experience of working in regional areas to develop several firsts, meeting the essential needs of scale, speed and sensitivity.
The project began in January 2020, with a specialised team of 120 personnel in ten regional offices across NSW.
It resulted, by July 2020, in the clearance of more than 3,700 residential and commercial properties across NSW and the engagement with over 6000 property owners.
- rapid support worth around $180 million in local investment in communities
- working directly with more than 90 small and medium-sized businesses
- seven-day payment terms for suppliers and subcontractors, creating psychological and financial wellbeing
- clearing of properties, including safe removal of hazardous materials, fire-damaged materials, dangerous trees, damaged driveways and concrete slab foundations
- exceeding all targets for Aboriginal employment, with more than $60 million spent with Aboriginal businesses
- supporting 581 training outcomes, 15 full-time trainees, nine apprentices and 20 undergraduate internships
A line was drawn under a period of great fear and uncertainty.
Local businesses in devastated communities were engaged in work, offering much needed financial certainty. Damaged properties were cleared and levelled, ready for new builds, providing a visible way forward for those that had suffered great loss. Those involved in the supply chain were actively upskilled, bringing greater opportunities for future innovation.
At Laing O’Rourke we recognised that the collective value of knowledge and experience in our business is worth so much more than the sum of its parts.