The Shire of Coolgardie is one of the most forward-thinking shires in the Goldfields.
It has put forward a proposal for a waste reprocessing facility in Coolgardie that, when(I am being positive here) it eventuates, will be the first of its kind in Australia.
The waste reprocessing facility will offer the opportunity to convert waste into bioenergy and composite materials, and export valued products which will then supply close-by mines, mining operators, the Shire and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and will even be exported through the port of Esperance.
The types of wastes, such as plastics, tyres, oil and sludge, which are normally sent to landfill, dumped or transported elsewhere would instead be turned into an item of value.
What will this mean for Coolgardie and our surrounding region? For one, the facility will create plenty of jobs, as well as a whole new industry besides mining.
I have been informed the project could create more than 100 new full-time jobs for the region, and another 100 construction and design jobs over the initial building phase.
Besides that, our regional community will benefit from not having to truck our waste — especially tyres and mixed plastics — to Perth.
This reduces the transportation costs and dumping fees, which in turn can be used in other areas such as improving community infrastructures.
This project comes at a good time as well.
According to an article published in The West Australian (1/9) on the Banksia Road Waste Management Facility, it states that “the town of Dardanup which is the gateway to the tourism mecca Ferguson Valley is outraged by the ever-expanding rubbish site 60 times size of the MCG”.
Here in Coolgardie, we have the land and the appetite for it.
I’m sure most of you will be wondering about the environmental ramifications.
It is my understanding, and through talks with the Shire of Coolgardie, it is in discussions with potential partners with the skills and expertise in advanced technologies to ensure that no toxic by-products and no process emissions are produced.
I have pledged my support publicly in Parliament and have also written to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson to ask for his support in lobbying the Federal Government for this project on behalf of the State.
I firmly believe that when our local governments have great initiatives for our community, they should be fully supported.
Kyran O’Donnell is the Liberal State Member for Kalgoorlie