February 02, 2016

45 Alcoa houses survive Yarloop fire


Alcoa can confirm that 45 of 80 Alcoa owned houses on residential and semi-rural properties in northern Yarloop survived the devastating fire that swept through the town on 7 January.
 
Seven of those still standing require further assessment to determine if they are habitable, while 35 houses were totally destroyed.
 
“I visited Yarloop after the fire and it was terrible to see so many homes in ruins. I can’t imagine the impact this tragedy has had on people’s lives and my heart goes out to them,” said Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Michael Parker.
 
Almost all of the Alcoa houses were let to tenants. The company has suspended rental payments to provide relief to its remaining tenants, and has been assisting townspeople with equipment such as generators and water tanks. Alcoa volunteers are also assisting residents as they work through the aftermath of the fire.
 
All but one of the houses lost were within an area established in 2001 as an informal buffer zone for the Wagerup alumina refinery (known as Area A in the Wagerup Refinery Land Management Plan).
 
“It makes no sense to re-build houses on properties Alcoa purchased to establish a buffer zone for the Wagerup refinery,” said Mr Parker. “We will work alongside the State Government and the Harvey Shire to clean up these properties and ensure future compatible land use.”
 
Alcoa has no plans to change the boundary of Area A and will continue its current practice of letting out houses in the area. The company currently owns five residential properties in the remainder of Yarloop (known as Area B in the Wagerup Refinery Land Management Plan) – one vacant block, three with houses, and one where the house was destroyed. Consistent with the Wagerup Refinery Land Management Plan, these properties will continue to be marketed for sale.
 
Background
 
The southern and northern boundary of Area A is based on the refinery’s modelled noise contour. People residing in Area A may experience night-time noise levels greater than assigned noise levels specified in the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997.
 
Further information on the Wagerup Refinery Land Management Plan is available at: https://www.alcoa.com/australia/en/info_page/wagerup_landmanagement.asp
 
ENDS
 
Media contact: Brian Doy on 0404 800 690 or brian.doy@alcoa.com.au