Laing O’Rourke

The brief

Laing O’Rourke engaged SEC Newgate to provide state-wide communications and stakeholder engagement support as it delivered the NSW and Federal Governments’ bushfire clean-up program following the catastrophic 2019/20 bushfires.

The program covered the length and breadth of NSW and involved the clean-up of over 3,500 bushfire-affected properties.

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The solution

Working with bushfire-affected community members required a high degree of care and compassion.

SEC Newgate supported Laing O’Rourke with this important task, developing proactive and reactive communications strategies to:

  • Communicate the program’s progress, planned activities, processes and expected timelines; and
  • Drive registrations for homeowners and local subcontractors, including the use of innovative digital tools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This extensive piece of work involved regular and close liaison with local MPs, government departments and ministerial offices, as well as the development of positive media stories for metro, regional and local media outlets across the state.

The outcome

With SEC Newgate’s support, Laing O’Rourke successfully achieved the Government’s objective of promoting local and regional economic recovery through the bushfire clean-up program, winning the NSW Premier’s Award for Recovery and Resilience.

Laing O’Rourke achieved 6,000 property registrations in less than 200 days, with the project clearing 3,500+ properties to enable local communities across the state to begin rebuilding.

SEC Newgate’s media and engagement efforts also contributed to over 90 local or regional subcontractors being involved in the project, helping to support more than 1,000 jobs.

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Properties cleared


Jobs supported


Local or regional subcontractors employed

This project required regular and reliable communications delivered with great care and compassion. SEC Newgate nailed their brief and played a critical role in getting the message out to the people that needed it most.

Camden Gilchrist

Laing O’Rourke, Head of Communications