A key flood clean-up program has been expanded to assist private landowners in affected areas remove debris from their land following this year's destructive floods.
The Land-based Clean-up Program is being run by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and now includes the clean-up of large, man-made and hazardous debris that has remained on properties after flood waters have receded.
NSW EPA flood recovery manager Martin Puddey said the program would reduce the cost and burden for those recovering from the flood events and benefit the local environment.
"This is an excellent addition to the program. The Land Based Flood Debris Clean-Up Program has removed more than 420m3 of flood debris since February," Mr Puddey said.
The Land-based Program had previously focused primarily on the removal of flood debris from public flood plains and low-lying public land.
Clean-up has already been completed at 57 sites and is planned for a further 117 sites. These sites are in the Hawkesbury, The Hills, Penrith, Lismore, Nambucca, Ballina, Byron Bay and Tweed local government areas. The program applies to all disaster declared local government areas in NSW.
"Community members in flood impacted areas can apply to have debris that washed up on their land removed such as metal objects, farm equipment, destroyed sheds or parts of caravans and agricultural chemical containers" Mr Puddey said.
Private land holders can apply for flood debris to be removed under the program using an application form on the Service NSW website.
"Once assessed and salvaged by qualified experts, these large items will be sorted and an effort is made to recover and recycle components such as aluminium and steel where possible," Mr Puddey said.
Mr Puddey also praised the collaborative efforts of impacted communities working with government, with local contractors engaged where possible to support clean-up and recovery efforts.
"The communities in flood impacted areas have been through very tough times in the last couple of years and it's encouraging to see local businesses and contractors assisting in the recovery" Mr Puddey said.
Mr Puddey said the EPA had also worked well with other government agencies such as National Parks and Wildlife Service, Crown Lands and Aboriginal Ranger groups throughout the Program to protect sensitive environments and culturally significant sites.
The Land-based Program is funded under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Members of the community can assist the clean-up of their local area by reporting flood debris to the Environment Line on 131 555 or email@example.com
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