Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Thousands of properties to be cleared during bushfire clean-up

Joint Media Release with:

  • John Brumby, Premier of Victoria

More than 80,000 tons of debris is expected to be cleared from thousands of bushfire affected properties, as part of a government led clean-up operation about to get underway.

Premier John Brumby and Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin announced today that Grocon would manage the bushfire clean-up and demolition program.

“This voluntary clean-up and demolition program is the first step in a rebuilding process that is larger and more complex than anything Victoria has ever faced but our resolve is strong and we will rebuild,” Mr Brumby said.

“Current estimates indicate communities will need to clean-up approximately 2029 homes, 11 community buildings, 59 commercial buildings and 2385 agricultural sheds, dairies and machinery.

“Because of this, the clean-up and demolition operation is likely to take up to six months with Grocon operating at multiple sites, simultaneously across Victoria.”

Ms Macklin said clearing debris left in the wake of Victoria’s bushfires was the essential first step in rebuilding communities.

“We will remove potential hazardous material, such as asbestos, and then clear properties for free, so communities can start to get back on their feet,” she said.

“When you see the scale of the devastation and people sifting through what was their homes, it is clear the pressing priority, both at an emotional and safety level is to start clearing away the debris.

“We want to help people get started as quickly as we clan, and we want to give them the practical assistance they need to make sure the clean up is done in a safe and sensitive way.”

Mr Brumby said Grocon was well placed to deliver the clean-up operation sensitively, safely and as quickly as possible.

“Grocon will link in with local communities and expects to use dozens of local, licensed contractors to deliver a coordinated operation,” he said.

People whose property has been affected by bushfires will register to have their property cleared. Grocon will then use this information and work with local communities to deliver a high level schedule of works.

Grocon CEO, Daniel Grollo said Grocon had a history of helping communities affected by tragedy, going back to the rebuilding of 400 homes in Darwin after Cyclone Tracey in 1974.

“Our people are very keen to get involved and assist Victorians who’ve suffered so much in the bushfires,” he said.

“Grocon is doing this work on a cost recovery only basis and sees it as part of its commitment to community renewal.

“My father has lost his property and livestock at Kinglake and we have other employees who have also lost homes – the reach of this tragedy across Victoria has been enormous.”

Important information for people affected by bushfires

The Commonwealth and Victorian Government funded clean-up and demolition operation is open to any person who owns property affected by recent bushfires.

The key steps of the process are:

  • The Coroner with Victoria Police approve access to the site;
  • Site assessment for risk, and removal of risks such as burnt gas bottles, dangerous trees, unstable chimneys;
  • Site owners given an opportunity for a final recovery of any possessions at the site;
  • The site will be cleared by licensed contractors.

People who would like the government to clear their property for free can contact:

Call: 1800 136 732
Visit: Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority

People who have already had their property cleared by a licensed contractor and would like to apply for reimbursement can contact:

Call: 1800 136 732
Visit: Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority

Important information for licensed contractors

Licensed contractors who are interested in taking part in the government funded clean-up and demolition program can contact: Cleanup (

For those wishing to work for Grocon, please contact Grocon Employment (