Weekly Speak CEO Column
Waste solutions on tour
After two weeks in Europe and the US looking at nine Energy from Waste (EfW) plants, visiting six cities, talking to councils and county governments, central governments and public and private operators and spending about 68 hours travelling on aircraft, what did I and my colleagues from several Queensland councils, the Queensland Treasury Corporation, water utilities and Peak Services learn?
Principally, that the investigation by Peak Services into this industry was spot on: Queensland can support the roll out of five to eight anaerobic digestion plants to produce energy from waste.
It is proven reliable technology, whereas it’s still early days for large scale treatments like gasification or pyrolysis. They may have a role in the future but are yet to reach successful maturity.
It is important to note that neither the LGAQ nor Peak has promoted incineration of waste as an option. This was made crystal clear in the Peak research. So, the kooks and the clowns in social media accusing the LGAQ of building or promoting incinerators are getting the disrespect they deserve. Sad, sad people. Is it any wonder the mainstream media gives them such a wide berth?
The LGAQ and Peak will be hosting a follow up briefing for all interested councils in Brisbane on 14 and 15 November, featuring presentations by tour participants. Hopefully, will also have the best of the people from the sites we visited making it out here for the event. We will also be presenting an update on the implementation of the waste levy.
While I was overseas Advocacy general manager Sarah Buckler and her team did a good job knocking rough (and costly) edges from the Waste Levy implementation package. It’s still not what we want but, in fairness, we have enjoyed some reasonable wins and will keep fighting the good fight all the way through.
Speaking of which, there are some key dates to note as that fight continues. Submissions to the Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Parliamentary Committee inquiring into the waste levy legislation must be made before 4pm Wednesday 19 September. For such an important change in the way local government goes about its business, this is an eye-wateringly rapid turnaround and we have asked the committee to extend the deadline.
And, importantly, those councils wanting to attract grants for infrastructure projects and capital investments in new processing and technological capabilities have until Friday 5 October to lodge their expressions of interest with the Government.
Details are here.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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