At the Ordinary Council Meeting of 23 May 2018, Council’s Chief Executive Terry Dodds submitted a report to Council outlining a proposal to deal with Council’s ongoing waste problem by converting municipal and other sources of waste into energy at a local scale.
Initially Council is seeking support from all levels of government and government agencies to provide seed funding for the completion of a feasibility study to determine if such a project is economical, practical and achievable.
This project is rapidly gaining momentum with 18 Councils in 2 States, 2 Territories and an Island, together with Regional Development Australia-Northern Inland being asked to assist with the required funding.
Initial support was sought from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) who have expressed in principle support and the availability of grant funding to enlist the expertise to conduct the research and compile the Feasibility Study. Our Federal Member, The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP and Local Member, The Hon Thomas George MP, together with the State Member for Northern Tablelands, The Hon Adam Marshall MP have also indicated in principle support.
The proposal has also gained considerable impetus through the newly formed New England Joint Organisation (NEJO), comprising the Councils of Tenterfield, Armidale, Moree Plains, Glen Innes Severn, Uralla and Narrabri.
“Currently waste to energy facilities operate on a large scale and have done for many years in European and Asian countries”, said Mr Dodds. “Should the project prove viable, this could be the first time that similar technology is put into practice in Australia on a small scale”, he added.
Tenterfield Mayor, Peter Petty presented Council’s waste to energy proposal to the NSW Country Mayors’ Association in Sydney recently and received unanimous support from the 80 Mayors present, along with an invitation for Mr Dodds to address the next meeting in August 2018.
“As the market for recyclables becomes diminished and existing land fill sites reach capacity, a waste to energy facility could address the growing waste problem for many regional Councils”, said Mayor Petty. “As well as assisting with the waste problem, the facility would feed power into the grid, which in turn could provide Councils with a new income stream to assist with addressing some of their critical infrastructure issues by helping to offset our waste management costs. My colleagues at the Mayors’ Association were very excited by this prospect”, Mayor Petty added.
Media Contact: Mayor, Peter Petty - 0411 475 301