A momentous step in Cobargo's recovery has been completed, as the bushfire clean-up on its main street has been finished.
It has been about six months since the main street of the town in NSW's Bega Valley was severely damaged when the New Year's Eve fire ripped through the town, destroying multiple buildings.
The main street's clean-up works kicked off in mid-May and on Thursday a spokesperson for lead contractor Laing O'Rouke confirmed these works had been completed, with the operation involving the removal of over 2600 tonnes of waste.
But, fortunately, the spokesperson said the team was able to salvage part of the fire-damaged train from the Train Café, at the owner's request, in the hope it can become a feature of the rebuild.
"The works required on main street were complex and many factors, from asbestos removal to the management of heritage items, had to be carefully considered as works progressed," the Laing O'Rourke spokesperson said.
"The team worked hard to ensure heritage items could be preserved where possible, including fire grates and brick work from heritage chimneys and original pressed metal sheeting.
"Throughout the process we maintained close engagement with landowners to ensure that buildings were protected and ready to be rebuilt as quickly as possible."
As of Tuesday, June 30, Laing O'Rourke had completed the clean-up of around 520 properties across the Bega Valley Shire, with around 120 properties remaining to be cleared in the weeks ahead, the spokesperson said.
On Tuesday, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said when Laing O'Rourke was appointed as the contractor to oversee the state's clean-up in late January the target was to clear 2800 properties by June 30 and this had been reached.
He said since then an additional 900 eligible properties had been identified, which he expected to be cleared by the end of July.
Laing O'Rouke has reminded all bushfire-affected property owners it is not too late to register by calling 13 77 88 or clicking here.