Four months after the fires, Cobargo's main street clean-up starts

Cobargo's main street clean-up. Video: Jimmy Logue, Crewcible Media

It may have taken more than four months, but the clean-up of bushfire damage on Cobargo's main street began in earnest this week.

Lead contractor Laing O'Rourke originally announced the works would begin last week, but a two-day pause for training after a safety incident pushed the start of the main operations back slightly.

The clean-up was well and truly underway on Wednesday with half of the Princes Hwy sectioned off for the work to take place.

"It's really good to clean up, now you can look to the future again instead of being reminded by what happened," Lena Kuppens of Via Luna said.

There was only one lane open on the Princes Hwy through Cobargo on Wednesday so the clean-up could take place.

There was only one lane open on the Princes Hwy through Cobargo on Wednesday so the clean-up could take place.

Her food stop is not far from the main street debris, the remains of several buildings left behind by the New Year's Eve bushfire, and she said she understood why it had taken months to start the operation as it was on "such a huge scale".

"The logistics must be a nightmare," she said.

Nicky Hutteman from Cobargo's Well Thumbed Books said people from the community had not often been using the south end of the main street, where the debris was lying.

"There was the same cut-off point on either side, it was like an invisible wall," she said.

"You wouldn't look at it because you didn't want to be reminded of it.

Lena Kuppens of Via Luna was pleased the clean-up had begun on the main street.

Lena Kuppens of Via Luna was pleased the clean-up had begun on the main street.

"I suppose I'm like everyone else, I'm just pleased to see it happening for the wellbeing of our community, from an emotional perspective."

Ms Hutteman, who remained in Cobargo on New Year's Eve to help put out spot fires, was glad to see the street's clean-up take place, but said she felt for the people who had lost their homes.

"For me I've still got my home, I can go in, put music on, go to the garden, but for families who lost homes it must be very, very difficult," she said.

Last week, a Laing O'Rourke spokesperson said the clean-up will continue into the coming weeks.

"It is important to note that the works required on [the] main street are complex and many factors, from asbestos removal to the management of heritage items, have had to be carefully considered before work could proceed," they said.

Workers tackle the debris on the west side of the street on Wednesday.

Workers tackle the debris on the west side of the street on Wednesday.

This story Four months after the fires, Cobargo's main street clean-up starts first appeared on Bega District News.