Relief & Recovery

Storm and Flood Clean-Up Program

Clean-up of structures on private property

The Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) free storm and flood clean-up program covers the demolition and removal of any structures on eligible residential properties that were destroyed or damaged beyond repair by the June 2021 storms and floods.

This could include:

  • residential homes and sheds
  • commercial and public buildings
  • other outbuildings.

The program will also remove hazards such as dangerous materials or trees that pose a threat to property or work crews, as well as any vehicles that were damaged beyond repair.

This program is voluntary, free of charge and open to eligible property owners.

BRV is partnering with Johns Lyng Group (JLG) to undertake the clean-up.

Registration of trees that are still standing but have become hazardous

BRV is accepting registrations for the assessment of trees on residential property that are still standing and pose a risk to a place of residence or personal safety.

Trees standing on private property that were made hazardous because of the June 2021 storms and are within falling distance of a structure or access to a structure can be professionally assessed and recommendations made for their treatment.

If a hazardous tree is threatening your residence, it is essential that you have a safety plan in place. This safety plan should include alternative accommodation options if weather conditions worsen. 

If you need support to access alternative accommodation, call the BRV Recovery Hotline on 1800 560 760 to speak to a dedicated local Recovery Support Worker who can assist. 

If someone’s life is in danger, call Triple Zero (000).

Eligibility

To be eligible for support:

  • you must be a residential property owner
  • the private property must be in one of the local government areas (LGAs) that were impacted by the June 2021 storms and floods
  • the damage to your property must have occurred as a direct result of the storms and floods on 9 and 10 June 2021.

To be eligible for the clean-up program, the affected property must contain structures – or buildings – that were destroyed or classified as being damaged beyond repair. The structures will be cleared and any resulting debris will be removed.

Properties eligible for the clean-up program will be assessed for hazards that pose a risk to access for clean-up or work-crews and clean-up operations before works begin.

Vehicles on residential property that were working before the event and were then classified as being damaged beyond repair are also eligible for clean-up, even if no structures were destroyed on the property.

Fallen trees

Generally, the removal of fallen trees, even when caused by a storm, is the responsibility of the property owners. 

The Storm and Flood Clean-Up program will remove fallen trees where they have caused damage to a structure or vehicle. 

Where fallen trees have not caused damage to a structure or vehicle, property owners need to arrange for their removal. 

If you’re insured, you may be able to have fallen trees removed through your insurer. BRV is also working closely with local government to make sure property owners can dispose of green waste easily, especially the crowns of fallen trees that can become a fire hazard in hot and dry conditions. 

BRV recommends reaching out to VicForests, which can provide advice around whether fallen trees can be sold for use as timber. 

If a fallen tree has caused no structural damage and was growing on public or crown land, it is the responsibility of the land manager to remove it. 

To access recovery support, call the BRV Recovery Support Hotline on 1800 560 760.

Definition of terms

Place of residence refers to the actual building a person lives in – not the whole property.

BRV uses the term property to describe the entire piece of land.

Structures must meet at least two of the following criteria to be eligible for clean-up:

  • A building or object constructed from several parts
  • A building or object that rests on deliberately placed foundations
  • A building or object that is connected to two or more essential systems (water, power, internet, sewage, gas, solar etc).

Program cost

The Clean-Up program is fully-funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments and provided at no cost to eligible property owners, regardless of whether they were insured or not.

How the Clean-Up program works

There are four phases to the Clean-Up program:

  1. Initial assessment of properties to identify hazards, understand the scope and type of work required, confirm the cause of the damage and assign a priority categorisation.
  2. Making properties safe by removing hazards to eligible sites, particularly hazardous trees and materials.
  3. Demolition and removal of structures and/or hazards that were removed to access a structure.
  4. Remediation works including post site clearance and rectification works.

Every property is different and will be managed on a case-by-case basis. BRV will contact registered property owners and work with them to ensure the clean-up process is explained, and that works are done as safely and efficiently as possible.

During the initial site assessment, BRV and Johns Lyng Group will discuss the scope of the clean-up with property owners and provide a consent form that property owners will need to sign for the clean-up to progress.

The main focus of any clean-up is always safety - safety for the community and for the people undertaking the work.

Safe access must be guaranteed before works begin. Site assessments will be needed and all hazards posed by materials and hazardous trees must be managed appropriately.

Once those have been addressed, clean-up work can begin as soon as possible.

More information

Phone: 1800 560 760

Web: www.brv.vic.gov.au/cleanup 

Email: cleanup@brv.vic.gov.au

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