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Post Australian bushfire hazardous material risk assessments

Post Australian bushfire hazardous material risk assessments

20200109 105155

JBS&G Licensed Asbestos Assessors from our Sydney and Wollongong offices have spent time over the past few weeks in the town of Cobargo on the NSW south coast, directly assisting recovery efforts post our devastating bushfires. After initial contact for help by the Bega Valley Shire Council, our team swiftly made their way to the region to provide post-fire hazardous material risk assessments.

We are incredibly proud of our team and to have had the opportunity to assist in this way. The following account from Daniel Denaro (JBS&G Project Manager) summarises the work undertaken and the emotional experience behind it all.

“Our works have been largely focussed on the town of Cobargo, one of the many towns on NSW's south coast that was hit pretty hard by the fires. A total of 79 structures (including homes and buildings) were completely destroyed by fires and another 22 were damaged to varying degrees.

We’ve been responsible for the assessment of asbestos contamination at these properties (and also the surrounding properties) to collate a comprehensive database for the Public Works Authority (part of the NSW Govt. Dept Planning, Industry and Environment) so that they can coordinate both temporary make-safe works and future remediation efforts of the affected properties.

Where we've been finding asbestos contamination, we've often seen asbestos debris fields some 10-15m from the source structures that has resulted in further contamination of public facilities, essential services and homes (think roadways, chemists, schools, RFS depot sites, businesses, homes etc).

The scale of destruction we've witnessed both in terms of natural and built environments is staggering. We've been there to chat to locals during our day's works and have heard stories of close escapes, listened to people who have lost their homes, businesses and way of life, and I think I can safely speak on behalf of the team to say it's been a humbling experience, and one we're proud to be a part of. The scale of the logistical and recovery efforts ahead for these towns and the authorities responsible is pretty hard to fathom, but it's been amazing to be able to help in some small way.

I want to give a shout-out to the team involved so far, who have been working tirelessly to get the job done, it’s been an incredible team effort.”