ANU aids bushfire affected farmers with repurposed roofing

14 Mar 2023

On 20 January 2020, a severe hailstorm hit many parts of central Canberra, including The Australian National University (ANU) Acton campus -causing damage to over 200 buildings. The ANU Hail Remediation Team has since worked tirelessly to repair and restore the affected buildings. 

Once the repair process started, it was discovered that loads of roof sheets were not contaminated with any hazardous materials and were in good condition for reuse but needed a place to go. An initiative started by the late Glen Toscan, member of the Rotary Club of Bungendore, enabled ANU to partner with the Rotary Club to transport and re-purposeroof sheets to local farmers whose outbuildings had been destroyed by recent bushfires.  

Sadly, Glen passed away last year but theproject has continued to progress, paying tribute to his memory and legacy 

Christine Allard, a former Director ofANU Facilities and Services,now leads the initiative as the (soon to be) President of the Rotary Club of Bungendore. 

She has enjoyed working alongside ANU and its contractors to help local farmers get access to free building materials. 

"This project, aside from being about sustainability, is about empowering the local people affected by the bushfires to help themselves and others in their community. 

The Rotary Clubs of Bungendore and Tumut work together to identify farmers who can use the materials, and the ANU Hail Remediation Team manages the logistics of delivering the roofing sheets to those farmers.  

The project has been delivered through the generosity of the contractors and transport companies who all give their time and resources free of charge.  

The first delivery of roof sheets was made in July 2022 to a farmer near Tumut who will use the materials to build covering for his cattle weaning yards. 

In total, six loads have been delivered to farmers with additional loads scheduled for the weeks ahead.  

While the number of farmers who have received the materials is unknown, it is estimated that more than 25 farmers have benefited from the program in Tumut, Adelong, and Courabyra.That number will continue to grow as the program carries on into 2023. 

So far, the roofing materials have been used to build chicken coops, vehicle sheds, carports, and hay sheds. 

This sustainable re-use program means that no waste is created through the hail repair process at ANU. The ANU Hail Remediation Team works with roofing contractors to ensure only the best quality materials are sent to the farmers, and anything else is recycled.