$2mil Morwell clean-up package

THE state government has announced a $2 million community assistance package to help Morwell residents begin their clean-up of ash left by the Hazelwood mine fire.

Premier Denis Napthine said with the fire under control, a welcome improvement in local air quality, and vulnerable residents able to return to their homes, the government was keen to offer further help to  Morwell.

“Our first priority is to help those most in need with the clean-up of  their homes, and keep the local community informed of planned clean-up  activities – including how to access clean-up equipment and support, which  we are making available through the Latrobe City Council,” Dr Napthine said.

Dr Napthine said the government’s new cleaning package would cater for those who needed help to clean their properties, as well as those who are able to do the work themselves.

“We know that a number of Morwell residents who are either existing home and community care clients, assessed as having ‘high needs’ because of their age, a disability, a current health condition or who recently received relocation assistance, will need to have their properties cleaned  professionally,” he said.

“For those residents, we’re making available local professional cleaners  to undertake both interior and exterior cleaning.”

Latrobe City Council will co-ordinate the cleaning assistance, using a panel of preferred local cleaning businesses. Residents will be able to  choose from a range of services, including sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, and exterior surface cleaning using a high pressure hose.

“Most Morwell households and businesses are keen to get on with their own clean-up, but may need some specialised equipment to do the job properly,”  Dr Napthine said.

“So we’re funding a self-clean program and making available high pressure water hoses and up to 150 HEPA vacuum cleaners and high pressure water hoses for people to borrow to clean their properties.”

Latrobe City Council will also have free expert advice available on how to  best complete a thorough clean-up of any domestic or business property.

The government’s clean-up package also involves the distribution to residents of free vouchers for laundry cleaning and car washing. The clean-up equipment, vouchers and advice will be available from a ‘pop  up shop’ being set up in the centre of Morwell.

“All Morwell residents will be able to collect one each of these free  vouchers, to have their clothes and cars washed by local businesses,” Dr Napthine said.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan, who joined Dr Napthine in Morwell for the announcement, said the entire clean-up package would be administered and delivered by Latrobe City Council, in close partnership with the state government.

“We see this as a valuable contribution to help the people of Morwell get back into their regular routine as quickly as possible,” he said.

Morwell MLA Russell Northe welcomed the announcement.

“This clean up assistance is great news and will ensure our community gets  back to full strength as soon as possible,” he said.

Residents wanting more information on the clean-up package can phone Latrobe City Council on 1800 017 777 or visit www.latrobe.vic.gov.au