The clean-up of Nimbin has begun.
Heavy machinery moved onto the site of last week’s fire this morning to begin the process of removing damaged awnings and other debris.
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell told Echonetdaily that it was hoped the footpath in front of the burnt-out buildings would be clear by tomorrow.
Cr Dowell warned people to stay well clear of the site while the clean-up was underway, saying people accessed the site last week to pick through the debris.
She said while contractors had stabilised the site in order to prevent the spread of asbestos, disturbing it could be dangerous.
‘This type of activity represented a significant threat to the health and safety of those involved, and it was noted that some people had even cut themselves in the fire debris following their access onto these fenced private lands,’ she said in a statement prepared by council staff.
‘The insurers became actively involved and engaged contractors to provide more secure fencing to restrict access to private land, on-site security guards and WorkCover made enquiries to ensure the site was properly secured before the weekend.’
Cr Dowell said the contractors used a PVA glue solution to prevent potential contaminants becoming airborne or being washed off site.
She said testing of the rear car park and the adjoining high school following the fire had confirmed that no contaminated material remained in this area that could present a risk to the public.
‘Council has been engaging directly with property owners and their insurers and working in cooperation to clean up the properties affected by last week’s fire at Nimbin,’ she said.
Cr Dowell said the site could remain off-limits for up to three months.
‘The potentially contaminated debris is to be removed from the private property before the end of this week,’ she said.
‘This will eliminate any significant risks to the Nimbin community, however, there will be a need for site testing and dealing with any residual contamination issues over the next three months.
She said the testing would require access to the site to remain restricted until those validation processes were complete and site was rehabilitated to the satisfaction of the insurers and council.
Meanwhile, the Echonetdaily reported last week that the Sydney-based owner of the building housing the museum and the BringaBong and Tribal Magic shopfronts, was keen to rebuild.
Richard Andary, chief executive of the Andary Group, said he had already been approached by the Lismore City Council and had been told the council would be supportive of any plans that improved the site.
Cr Dowell said Mr Andary’s commitment to rebuild was good news, and that she had told him that it would be important to work with the community on the project.
She said the biggest concern at this point was the people who had lost their jobs as a result of the fire, especially those working at the Rainbow Cafe.
‘I would urge other cafes in Nimbin to consider putting on extra staff,’ she said.
More stories about the Nimbin Fire
The new owners of the former Nimbin Museum site and associated shops will meet with staff at the Lismore City Council tomorrow.
The future of the iconic buildings burnt to the ground in Nimbin in August is still up in the air.
A fundraiser will be held this Saturday aimed at ‘Restoring the Heart’ of Nimbin. The fundraiser is the initiative of Matthew Raikes, who was born in Nimbin, where his mother Cathie McIntosh ran a youth refuge for nearly ten years.
Sydney businessman Richard Andary has ‘no plans’ for the site on which the Nimbin Museum and adjacent shops once stood before a fire last month.
Police have issued an appeal to anyone who may have seen ‘a number of people’ in Nimbin’s main street shortly before a fire broke out which gutted the Nimbin Museum, Rainbow Café and other buildings last week.
The clean-up of Nimbin as begun. Heavy machinery moved onto the site of last week’s fire this morning to begin the process of removing damaged awnings and other debris.
The millionaire owner of the building that housed the Nimbin Museum wants to restore it so that it is ‘better than before’.
Nimbin has been left reeling following a fire which destroyed the Nimbin Museum, Rainbow Cafe, and a number of other businesses yesterday morning. But in true hippie spirit, locals are already talking about what will rise from the ashes, as police investigate the cause of the blaze.
I came to Nimbin in the early 80s, a refugee from north Queensland where the police had taken to shooting hippies. Keen to try something new, I started working. The Rainbow Cafe had been empty for some months so my north Queensland family and I took over the lease.
Nimbin has lost some of its most iconic buildings including the Nimbin Museum and Rainbow Cafe in a fire that ripped through the heart of the village early this morning.