Wingecarribee Shire Council will clear thousands of tonnes bushfire damaged trees after securing $4.59 million in grant funding from the NSW Government Environment Protection Authority (EPA) – Bushfire Recovery Green Waste Program.
Wingecarribee Shire Council was one of 15 regional councils to secure funding from the EPA to assist with the continued cleanup following the 2019-20 Black summer bushfires.
Council’s Director Communities and Place, Geoff King said the grant would help the Shire’s bushfire impacted communities continue to move forward.
“A massive amount of green waste was generated by the Black summer bushfires right across our Shire,” he said.
“The ongoing clean-up will continue to take years and while much has already been done, this funding will go a long way to clearing thousands more burnt trees.”
Vegetation removal will focus on the Shire’s bushfire-impacted villages including Balmoral, Bundanoon, Exeter, Wingello, Penrose and the Wombeyan Caves area.
Mr King said the EPA grant funding was the latest stage in the ongoing clean-up efforts.
“For more than 18 months Council staff have been on the ground working with our local communities to help clean-up,” he said. “We know this is a long-haul project and that’s why we continue to look for opportunities to help with the ongoing rebuild.”
Mr King also praised staff from Council’s Open Spaces team for securing the grant monies.
“Managing this project required approvals from dozens of private residents and numerous State and Federal Government agencies,” he said. “Coordinating this task and then securing the funds was a significant achievement.”
“I congratulate the staff on successfully scoping this project and again thank our State Members for Goulburn and Wollondilly, Wendy Tuckerman and Nathaniel Smith, for supporting this all-important proposal.”
The Bushfire Recovery Green Waste Program monies follows $44,000 being secured by Council earlier this month from the NSW Environmental Trust for the protection of rare and threatened flora species across bushfire impacted areas.
Council will continue to liaise with bushfire-impacted residents regarding the pending works with contractors set to start vegetation removal in November 2021.