A recent story published in the The Courier Mail by Matthew Killoran focused on Wanless Recycling Park. Wanless plans to construct and operate an innovative resource recovery hub that will continue to evolve as new technologies emerge. The company’s vision is to transform this degraded site into a productive precinct that generates employment and training opportunities, a much needed injection into the local community and the wider Australian economy.
This is a model they have tried and tested at Sydney Recycling Park, where up to 80% of waste is now diverted from landfill. The proposed resource recovery and recycling precinct at Ebenezer, about 12km southwest of Ipswich CBD in Queensland – is to fit into the government’s 20-year southeast Queensland City Deal.
The southeast Queensland City Deal will be used to secure a recycling super centre for the region, with Ipswich being discussed as one of the preferred destinations.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison raised the matter directly with the SEQ Council of Mayors at a recent meeting, making it clear to them that as well as the Olympics and busting road congestion, an advanced recycling and waste facility are central to the deal. The SEQ Council of Mayors says the plan for a super facility, which will deal with waste and recycling for the entire southeast region, is still in its embryonic stages.
It is understood money could be set aside in the Federal Budget if a plan can be worked up in time.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, who heads the SEQ Council of Mayors, said no specific destinations had been discussed with the Prime Minister yet. But it is understood the Federal Government is eyeing Ipswich as one of several options, as the western corridor has industrial areas zones and room for a large facility.
The ideal precinct would include an organics facility to turn compost into energy; turn tyres into diesel; plastics recycling; sorting facilities for recycling bins; and equipment for a potential container deposit scheme.
Mr Morrison met with the SEQ Council of Mayors on September 18 amid discussions on the City Deal and Olympics.
Cr Jamieson said the mayors were considering a regional approach to waste management. “There is currently noi committed funding for the delivery of this plan, but it could be considered as part of the SEQ City Deal negotiations,” he said.
The City Deal is a 20-year plan agreed to between the three tiers of government. Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction Trevor Evans said he would encourage councils to think about regional solutions to landfill and recycling issues.
“As the Government works to finalise our bans on exporting waste around the region, what we need to see is new infrastructure, especially infrastructure that can help sort and process plastics and turn them into new products,” he said.
At the National Plastics Summit last month, Mr Morrison said he was willing to fund the upgrades to waste facilities in partnership with state governments and private enterprise.