BRV Storm and Flood Clean Up Program

1. Eligibility 

Bushfire Recovery Victoria will support the clean-up and recovery work for the owners of private property damaged by the storms and floods that occurred on 9-10 June 2021.

To request support, you must:

  • Be a private property owner
  • The private property must be in one of the 39 local government areas (LGAs) 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 9-10 June 2021.

2. Private property Clean-Up program – structures

To be eligible for the Clean-Up program on private property, the affected property must contain a structure(s) that was destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Structures will be cleared and any resulting debris will be removed.

Properties eligible for the Clean-Up program will be assessed for hazards posing a risk to access for clean-up or work-crews and clean-up operations.

Definition of a structure

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 Storm and Flood 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 from eligible sites, particularly dangerous trees and materials.
  3. Demolition and removal of structures and debris.
  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 like dangerous trees must be managed appropriately.

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

Clean-Up program delivery partner

BRV will partner with Johns Lyng Group to undertake the Storm and Flood Clean-Up program.

Johns Lyng Group is Australia’s largest disaster recovery specialist with more than 67 years’ experience playing leading roles in the recovery efforts of major disasters Australia-wide.

They have a national footprint of 47 offices, and more than 1000 employees and a nationwide network of more than 6000 sub-contractors specialising in disaster recovery.

FAQs

Do I have to pay anything?

No. The Storm and Flood 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 long will it take to complete the clean-up on my property?

Each property will have its own challenges. There are still many areas where safe access can’t be guaranteed, and the Clean-Up program will need to approach every property differently.

Before commencing work on a property, Johns Lyng Group will conduct an assessment to identify potential hazards, risks to property access and other safety concerns. Above all, safety is the number one priority of this program – not just for crews as they work, but for residents into the future.

Will fencing or septic tanks be included in the clean-up?

The Clean-Up program covers the removal of debris and waste from houses and other structures destroyed or damaged beyond repair by the storms and floods.

Damaged or destroyed fencing or septic tanks are not generally included, but if it is needed for the safe clean-up of destroyed structures on a property, their removal may be included.

For example a fence may need to be removed, or a septic tank filled, to gain access to your property, or to ensure the safety of workers on your site.

I have a car body that needs to be removed, is this included in the clean-up?

Yes. Vehicles on private property that were working before the event and were then damaged beyond repair are also eligible for clean-up, even if there weren’t any structures destroyed on the property.

As well as cleaning up my damaged/destroyed structures, I need a number of trees removed, are these included in the clean-up?

Any hazards on eligible properties, including dangerous trees that pose a threat to property access, structures or work crews carrying out clean-up will be removed.

Will the program remove debris that was left behind during the initial storm response?

The Clean-Up program will remove any debris from eligible properties that was left behind during response and relief operations following the storms and floods.

The Clean-Up program will assess the scope and impacts to public land, including debris left behind during response and relief operations, to provide recommendations for possible inclusion in the program at a later date. We will be consulting closely with key stakeholders on this.

Which properties and towns will be prioritised for clean-up?

BRV has established a regional presence across the affected local government areas. In addition, Johns Lyng Group has a national footprint of 47 offices, and more than 1000 employees and a nationwide network of more than 6000 sub-contractors specialising in disaster recovery.

That means that the Clean-Up program has the resources needed to work on multiple sites at the same time and are ready to begin initial assessments in communities across the state once property owners register.

Why do I need to sign a consent form?

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

The consent form provides your agreement as the property owner for works to be carried out as part of the Clean-Up program.

Clean-Up works can only take place where the property owner has signed a consent form. If you have any concerns or questions about the consent form, BRV and Johns Lyng Group will be available to discuss this with you.

Where and how will the debris be disposed?

Debris and waste from the Clean-Up Program will be disposed of by licensed contractors into licensed waste management sites across the state. All waste disposal will be overseen by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and WorkSafe.

BRV and Johns Lyng Group will seek to maximise the amount of materials being recycled.

The Clean-Up program will also have flexibility for the salvage, treatment and re-use of fallen and threatening trees and green waste.

In determining the arrangements for timber, we will seek to be guided by property owners and other stakeholders.

What about the presence of hazardous materials like asbestos on destroyed sites?

The Clean-Up Program covers the safe removal of hazardous materials like asbestos, from eligible properties. Licensed contractors engaged in clean-up activities are subject to a compliance code for removing asbestos, which includes strict measures to reduce the risk to public health and safety.

3. Trees on private property that are still standing but have become dangerous

The Storm and Flood Clean-Up program is also accepting registrations for the assessment of dangerous trees on private property which pose a risk to a place of residence or personal safety.

If you have trees on your property that may be life-threatening and are at risk of falling onto your home as a result of the June 2021 storm, you can register your property for assessment.

FAQs

 

There are dangerous trees still standing on my property, can they be removed?

The Storm and Flood Clean-Up program is accepting registrations for the assessment of dangerous trees on private property which pose a risk to a place of residence or personal safety.

Any trees that were made dangerous because of the June 2021 storms can be professionally assessed under the Clean-Up program and recommendations made for their treatment.

If you have trees on your property that may be life-threatening and are at risk of falling onto your home as a result of the June 2021 storm, you can register your property for assessment. 

How do I tell is tree is dangerous?

If you are concerned about trees on your property, you are welcome to register for an assessment of them.  Make note of the trees when registering and when discussing your property with BRV.

Qualified arborists will visit your property to provide advice and assessment of potentially dangerous trees and their treatment.

My neighbour has a tree that I believe has become dangerous since the storm event of 9/10 June, what should I do?

In the first instance, you should discuss your concerns with your neighbour and encourage them to register for an assessment of dangerous trees. 

How will dangerous trees be disposed of?

BRV will approach the salvage, treatment and re-use of fallen and threatening trees flexibly. All timber will be assessed against criteria including cultural significance, available storage sites on the property and future risk.

VicForests, a State-owned business that harvests, sells and regrows sustainably timber may be able to process timber from private property. BRV can put property owners in touch with VicForests if required. 

4. Large wind thrown trees on private property (i.e. fallen timber)

VicForests is a State-owned business that harvests, sells and regrows sustainable timber from Victoria’s native forests. Wind thrown timber on private properties may be able to be processed by VicForests. We are working with VicForests to provide support to property owners with fallen timber.

Property owners can contact VicForests detailing their location, how much timber is on their properties and dimensions.

VicForests will be in touch to assess the timber and give advice on how it can be used.

I have fallen timber on my property, can it be removed?

VicForests is a State-owned business that harvests, sells and regrows sustainable timber from Victoria's native forests.

VicForests may be able to process wind-thrown timber on private property.

Property owners can contact VicForests for an assessment of the timber on their property by emailing vfs.admin@vicforests.com.au and detailing their location, how much timber is on their properties and dimensions.

5. Registering your property for Clean-Up or assessment of dangerous trees

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, you can register your property for Clean-Up, or register for the assessment of dangerous trees by visiting www.brv.vic.gov.au/cleanup or phoning 1800 560 760.

A BRV representative will make contact with you to confirm details about the affected property and arrange an initial assessment of the property.

Property owners with wind thrown trees and fallen timber can contact VicForests by emailing vfs.admin@vicforests.com.au and detailing their location, how much timber is on their properties and dimensions.

6. General FAQs

When will my clean-up start?

Registration for the Private Property Clean-Up program and assessment of dangerous trees is now open, and once you have registered, a BRV representative will make contact to discuss how the program works.

Do I need to be insured?

No. If you are eligible, you can participate in this program whether you were insured or not.

If I choose not to participate in the program, will I be able to have my clean-up reimbursed?

No. If you choose not to register for the program, you’ll need to make your own arrangements to have your property cleared by a licensed contractor and the waste disposed of safely. Neither you nor the contractor will be eligible to have those clean-up costs reimbursed.

I have already started clean-up on my property, what should I do?

If you have already begun clean-up works on your property and you meet the eligibility criteria, you are welcome to still contact BRV to register for the Storm and Flood Clean-Up program.

You can do this by visiting www.brv.vic.gov.au/cleanup or phoning 1800 560 760.

Can I keep the timber that has fallen on my property?

BRV will approach the salvage, treatment and re-use of fallen and threatening trees flexibly. All timber will be assessed against criteria including cultural significance, available storage sites on the property and future risk.

The most important thing in any clean-up is always the safety of the community and the contractors undertaking the works.

In determining the arrangements for timber, BRV and Johns Lyng Group will seek to be guided by property owners and other stakeholders.

If the timber is able to kept by you, it will be left at an agreed location on your property.

If you have trees still standing on your property which, because of the storm event of 9/10 June, nowpose a risk to a place of residence or personal safety, you can register for a professional assessment.

If you have wind thrown or fallen timber on your property, you can contact VicForests, a State-owned business that harvests, sells and regrows sustainable timber from Victoria’s native forests and may be able to process fallen timber.

Property owners can contact VicForests by emailing vfs.admin@vicforests.com.au and detailing their location, how much timber is on their properties and dimensions. 

Is the clean-up of public land part of the program?

We know that having safe access to public land will be important not only to the tourism sector, but also to ensure residents can have the ongoing connection to land and community that is so important to recovery.

The Clean-Up program will assess the scope and impacts to public land to provide recommendations for inclusion. We will be consulting closely with key stakeholders on this.

The immediate focus is on ensuring that private properties, both residential and commercial, can be cleaned up safely and efficiently. 

7. More information

For further information about the Storm and Flood Clean-Up program, get in touch

Call 1800 560 760

Visit www.brv.vic.gov.au/cleanup

Or email cleanup@brv.vic.gov.au