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EPA starts work on bushfire clean-up in Clarence Valley

Works have started in two Local Aboriginal Land Councils as part of an additional $95 million funding from the NSW Government to pub-lic land managers for bushfire recovery waste management and recycling.

The Aboriginal Land Clean-Up program is the first of five programs being delivered by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to support public land managers, including local councils, across the state.

Following extensive on-ground assessment, and consultation with Local Aboriginal Land Councils by the EPA and Public Works Advisory, works have been approved to start in the Baryulgil and Malabugilmah communities in the Clarence Valley in northern NSW.

Restoration works worth $200,000 following the bushfires in Baryulgil include, management of hazardous trees, maintenance and align-ment of fencing and road grading, as well as improvement works to the Clarence River Cattle Dip.

Works in Malabugilmah will total $90,000 and include removal of bushfire waste, the management and recycling of green waste and maintenance of fencing burnt in the bushfires.

EPA Engagement, Education and Programs Executive Director Liesbet Spanjaard said the works were part of the EPA’s new $20 million Aboriginal Land Clean-Up program.

“These grants will aid in the next step of the bushfire recovery process, by protecting the environment from illegal dumping, removing waste, and supporting our communities to rebuild faster and stronger than ever,” Ms Spanjaard said.

“Works in the Baryulgil and Malabugilmah communities will help manage bushfires waste and assist local recovery through employment and economic opportunities,” Ms Spanjaard added.

Valley Earthworks has been contracted by Public Works Advisory to carry out these clean-up activities in the coming weeks. Up to three members of the community will be employed by the contractor as part of the restoration work.

Baryulgil and Jana Ngalee Local Aboriginal Land Councils CEO Ross James said the communities were very happy to see local people employed to complete clean-up and environmental rehabilitation works on Local Aboriginal Land Council owned lands.

“This clean-up work under the NSW Government’s Bushfire Recovery Programs is really important to our communities. We have worked closely with the EPA and Public Works Advisory to get the works started, and we’re looking forward to repaired fences, removal of hazardous trees, and improved access for the community,” Mr James added.

The Aboriginal Lands Clean-Up Program is funded under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. This program is one of five waste management and recycling bushfire recovery programs designed for public land managers across bushfire dumping, green waste, council landfill and burnt fence recycling.

For more information about the NSW Government’s Bushfire Recovery Programs, visit https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/working-together/grants/bushfire-recovery-programs

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Please see the following files attached:
[MR_Aboriginal Lands Clarence Valley_12032021.pdf]
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