BUSHFIRE RECOVERY

INFORMATION FOR LANDOWNERS OF PROPERTIES AFFECTED BY THE WAROONA-YARLOOP BUSHFIRE OF 6 JANUARY 2016

WAROONA-YARLOOP BUSHFIRE SPECIAL INQUIRY

RELEASE OF WAROONA-YARLOP BUSHFIRE INQUIRY REPORT

The report of the special inquiry titled Reframing Rural Fire Management: Report of the Special Inquiry into the January 2016 Waroona Fire, was tabled in Parliament by the Premier on Thursday 23 June 2016.

A large audience heard from both the Premier & Mr Ferguson himself, who provided an overview of his report.

Overall there was a widespread acceptance of his findings including proposals to establish a separate Rural Fire Service together with a review of the current ESL structure.

Limited hard copies of the report are available, however the following link provides internet access.

https://publicsector.wa.gov.au/waroona-bushfire-special-inquiry

FIRE RECOVERY COMMITTEE

The Waroona fire recovery process is well underway. In the past weeks the Shire has conducted outreach providing support information packages and assessing the needs of bushfire affected properties within Waroona. Outreach activities assist in providing accurate information to the Recovery Committee on the extent of private property losses.

The information packs can also be obtained from the helpful staff at Waroona Community Resource Centre between 9am - 4pm weekdays (9733 3011).

Bushfire Recovery Newsletter Issue 9 - 06.10.2016

Bushfire Recovery Newsletter Issue 8 - 15.09.2016

Bushfire Recovery Newsletter Issue 7 - 31.07.2016

Bushfire Recovery Newsletter Issue 6 - 01.07.2016

Bushfire Recovery Newsletter Issue 5 - 24.06.2016

Bushfire Recovery Newsletter Issue 4 - 30.05.2016

Bushfire Recovery Newsletter Issue 3 - 18.05.2016

Bushfire Recovery Newsletter Issue 2 - 23.02.2016

Bushfire Recovery Newsletter Issue 1 - 05.02.2016

ASSISTANCE PACKAGE APPLICATIONS

Lord Mayors Distress Fund is now closed.

** APPLICATIONS CLOSED 31 MAY 2016 **

Waroona Bushfire Relief Grant is now closed. 

** APPLICATIONS CLOSED 29 JULY 2016 **

Emergency Supply of Drinking Water (Rainwater Tanks) is now closed.

** APPLICATIONS CLOSED 29 JULY 2016 **

To view the fact sheet for the Water Corporation of WA Assistance being provided, please click the following link.

TOWN PLANNING, BUILDING PERMIT AND SEPTIC TANK APPLICATIONS

The replacement or restoration of buildings and associated services destroyed or damaged by the fire may require the approval of Council. 

Note that Town Planning, Building Permit and Septic Tank application fees could be waived for the replacement of like for like buildings and septic tanks burnt or damaged in the fire.

To clarify the above aspects landowners are encouraged to contact the Development Services staff at the Shire Office located at 52 Hesse Street Waroona or on Tel. 9733 7800. Information regarding these applications is also available on the Shire’s website at www.waroona.wa.gov.au

PUBLIC HEALTH MATTERS FOLLOWING THE WAROONA & DISTRICTS BUSHFIRE

In reference to the recent Bushfire which has affected part of the town site of Waroona and surrounding area, the Waroona Shire would like to advise residents regarding possible health matters that may have impacted your property.

One potential issue following a bushfire is that water tanks may be contaminated with ash and chemicals used in firefighting, or from combustion of materials.

The Waroona Shire therefore advises that water from water tanks should not be used for potable purposes.

If your property has been identified as being in an area where fire-fighting activities may have occurred in proximity to the rainwater tanks, the Shire therefore advises that the water may be contaminated and consequently the water should be drained from the tanks and ideally used for a non-potable purpose such as garden watering. Please refer by clicking the link to access to the leaflet “Using rainwater after a bushfire” provides further information on how to identify contaminated water and suggests non-potable uses for the potentially contaminated water. Once the tanks have been emptied they should then be cleaned out and inspected (this is the owners responsibility) to ensure that the tank, particularly the liner, has not been damaged, prior to being refilled with water supplied by a registered potable water provider. In relation to refilling your tank, the Shire has made arrangements for residents to obtain the potable supply from Shire standpipes, free of charge. Owners/residents will however, have to make arrangements for cartage to the property.

Please ensure that the potable supply that you use contains a chlorine residual. For your information, the Department of Health recommends that rainwater should be chlorinated (with a suitable residual maintained) before drinking. Maintaining the correct chlorine residual is the most reliable way to ensure good water quality. Please refer by clicking the link to access the leaflet “Country rainwater collection” for information on country rainwater tanks and chlorine dosing.

Due to roofs having been covered in ash it is important that all areas used for collecting rainwater are thoroughly cleaned and all pipework is flushed through prior to further runoff from rainfall events being permitted to enter any water tanks.

Should you wish to undertake chemical and microbiological water sampling to determine whether water is contaminated please ensure that you contact a NATA accredited laboratory. The enclosed leaflet “Standard drinking water test” provides information on the types of tests that may be conducted and includes a list of laboratories. The laboratories will be able to provide advice on sample collection and provide suitable sample bottles.

Should you have any queries regarding the above-mentioned matters please contact the Waroona Shire Health Services on 9733 7800. 

WATER TANKS

Where fire-fighting activities have occurred in proximity of rainwater tanks, it is advised that the water be dumped (or ideally use for a non-potable purpose such as garden watering), tanks cleaned and potable water utilised from an external source.

Fire-fighting chemicals and ash can enter the water tanks from the roof. If there is no first flush device to capture these potential contaminants, residents may wish to divert water entering the tank until there has been sufficient rain.

Residents with water tanks are recommended to refer to the Department of Health’s factsheet on ‘Using rainwater after a bushfire’ which can be accessed via the following link: http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au/cproot/2725/2/using_rainwater_after_a_bushfire.pdf 

Please also note that the Department of Health recommends that any potable water supply that is used is adequately chlorinated. Please refer to the factsheet “Country rainwater collection” for information on chlorine dosing or visit http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au/cproot/1806/2/country_rainwater_collectionv2.pdf

Should you have further questions regarding the use of rainwater tanks after a fire, please contact the Shire’s Environmental Health and Building Department.

Residents in the affected area who are solely reliant on water tanks for potable water are entitled to a “once off” refill of their existing or new tank (if required), from a Council standpipe free of charge.

Arrangements can be made with a water contractor to obtain the necessary access from the Shire’s standpipe by contacting the Customer Service Officer at the Shire.

WASTE/RUBBISH SERVICE

The Department of Environment Regulation (DER) has advised that fire affected INERT waste may be disposed of by direct burial on farm.  This does not include asbestos or putrescible waste.  Inert waste may include metal, rubble, timber etc.  

The Buller Road Refuse site will re—open on Thursday 13 January 2016. Normal tipping charges will apply to all rubbish deposited at the tip. If you are depositing fire affected waste please keep your receipt and if funding is obtained to cover the cost of tipping charges your fees will be refunded.

There is a skip bin service provided for house hold waste only, which is located opposite Wagerup Civil on Fouracre Street (gravel clearing near the train station).

DEAD ANIMAL HANDLING

Disposing of dead animals promptly and properly is very important. Decomposing carcasses are a source of disease including bacteria such as salmonella, streptococcus and tuberculosis.

It is the landowner's responsibility to dispose of dead animals. 

Removal of carcasses by a licensed dead stock carrier is the best option for the disposal of dead animals. If a collection service is not available, the most practical method of disposal of large numbers of carcases is by burial:

Locate the pit at least 100 metres from wells, domestic water bores, streams and surface water bodies;

  • Use areas with clay soil if possible;
  • Construct the pit so that the bottom is at least 1 metre above seasonal high water table;
  • Pits should be covered with a minimum of one metre of earth after use; and
  • Distribute pits throughout the property, if more than one pit is required.

Should you have any queries or questions please contact the Environmental Health Officer on 9733 7800 or 9531 7607 or email eho@waroona.wa.gov.au