Aboriginal Land Council to work with Moree Plains Shire Council to demolish burnt-out houses

One of the many burnt-out houses in Moree.

One of the many burnt-out houses in Moree.

Moree Local Aboriginal Land Council will be working with Moree Plains Shire Council to remove the burnt-out houses which fall under its banner that are currently tainting the town.

At last Thursday's council meeting, Moree Plains Shire Council general manager Lester Rodgers reported the good news to councillors.

"I'm very pleased to say that [economic development officer] Mark Connolly and I have sought the cooperation of the Aboriginal Lands Council," he said.

"They're keen to work cooperatively with council and have already identified a number of houses [that could be demolished].

"They will be asking council to consider looking at some relief in the disposal of debris."

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In November last year, councillors decided to take further action to remove the high number of dilapidated buildings in the shire, and had begun the tender process for the immediate removal of all burnt-out houses in the shire.

Earlier this year, council agreed to take part in a pilot program with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to develop a standard procedure for dealing with burnt-out houses which contained asbestos.

Councillor John Tramby, who has been lobbying council to do something about the burnt-out houses for more than 20 years, said council needs get on with the job.

"Unless we do something, no-one else is going to do it," he said.

"We just need to start knocking them down," Cr Montgomery added.

Mayor Katrina Humphries suggested council write another letter to the Insurance Council Australia, requesting that insurance companies hold a percentage of insurance pay-outs for burnt-out houses to cover the costs of demolishing the building.

"Mr Rodgers, if you can put some pressure on the relevant departments to do it," she said.

"Let's identify the houses that we can utilise the powers available to us ... and just bring in those contractors who have that speciality and get on with it.

"It's something that the community wants and something that we want."

Council currently has $200,000 allocated in this year's budget for the removal of dilapidated dwellings.