Clean-up zones: Wye River and Separation Creek
Please note: The following maps and clusters are not reflective of the order of works, just the zones in which clean-up work will be undertaken.
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Commonly Asked Questions
Grocon representatives were commissioned by the Victorian Government to clean-up bushfire affected zones from Monday 7 March. Property owners who opted out of the Grocon clean-up can contact the Colac Otway Shire, for details on how to clean up your property safely and in accordance with legislative requirements. If you have any questions about conducting a clean-up privately, contact the Bushfire Recovery Information Centre on 03 5232 9400 (select 1) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, you can if it is possible and safe to do so, and in coordination with Grocon or your clean-up contractor. If you are just visiting a property but not cleaning up, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be worn and are available from Colac Otway Shire.
Grocon completed the clean-up of hazardous bushfire waste from all properties in Wye River and Separation Creek on 30 June, with homeowners receiving notices of completion. If you are a property owner and are yet to receive a notice of completion, the remaining notices are currently with Major Projects Victoria for approval and will be issued to property owners as soon as possible. These formal notices are issued pending final tree management works.
In response to community concerns, Grocon has introduced a new consultation and consent process, which will inform the future removal of trees. Arbory works on private property have been suspended until an independent secondary review of bushfire-affected trees has been carried out and the property owner has signed a new consent deed, specifying the tree works to be undertaken. Once an affected property has been independently assessed, owners will begin receiving consent deeds for review.
Grocon treats all bushfire waste as containing asbestos, and has stringent, compliant procedures in place to protect the community. Air monitoring is occurring consistently where works are being undertaken, and previous research has shown that the levels of airborne asbestos fibres in a surrounding area to properties with asbestos-containing materials is relatively low and does not pose a health risk.
Colac Otway Shire conducted an initial visual assessment of septic systems, but this was not a definitive assessment. In cases where damage is likely to have occurred but couldn’t be verified, it is assumed they are damaged.
All new developments must have septic systems that comply with current regulations, which were last updated in 2013. Properties with a current Planning Permit will be able to re-build the same dwelling with the same septic system, but all other property owners will be required to submit a septic system application as part of their overall Planning application.
Wastewater management tailored to the community and its rebuild is currently under review by the Victorian Government, the Colac Otway Shire and water providers. Barwon Water has already tested and cleaned drinking water, free of charge. The Victorian Government’s wastewater management report is available here.
Even if your home is undamaged, your water tank may be contaminated with ash from the fires, saltwater and fire retardant from aerial firefighting efforts. If the water in your tank looks, tastes or smells unusual, assume it is contaminated (to learn how to check the quality of water in your tank, visit the Better Health Channel). Even if your water tank is contaminated, you can still use the water for other purposes such as flushing toilets, watering the garden, firefighting and cleaning.