Contractors return to cannery cleanup

The abandoned Mountain Main cannery has long been considered an eyesore by the town.

Demolition work continues on the old Mountain Maid cannery site in Batlow, despite delays and further damage caused by this summer’s bushfires.

Official statements from the Snowy Valleys Council [SVC] say the cannery site “was severely impacted by the bushfire and as a result additional clean-up activities are required and a new scope of work is currently being negotiated.”

The contractor returned to the cannery site on February 3 to continue with demolition work on areas of the building which were not damaged by fire.

During last Thursday’s SVC meeting, Councillors expressed concern after there were rumors that the demolition contractor’s equipment had been damaged in the fire and that Council might be liable for the damage because of a “loophole” in the demolition contract.

SVC Executive Director of Infrastructure Heinz Kausche told the Council that the contractor has not made any suggestion of claiming restitution for damage to any equipment. SVC and the contractor are currently renegotiation the contract, to determine how they will proceed with the fire-damaged areas of the site.

Originally, $70,000 in was appropriated to develop a Business Case for the site, SVC said that funding has been “re-purposed for an impact and environmental assessment on the site post clean-up.”

Council said once the clean-up is complete, “the future of the site will be reassessed.”