‘Pig power’ con­sid­ered

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

SUS­TAIN­ABLE power and fer­tiliser gen­er­a­tion from pig ef­flu­ent could be Monto’s next big in­dus­try, Dolors Fowler says.

The for­mer North Bur­nett Re­gional coun­cil­lor has called upon State Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter John McVeigh, Federal Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Barnaby Joyce, Federal Min­is­ter for Flynn Ken O’Dowd, Deputy Pre­mier Jeff Seeney and coun­cil CEO Mark Pitt to meet with lo­cal pig farm­ers and dis­cuss how in­no­va­tion could lead to growth out­side of the pork in­dus­try.

With pre­lim­i­nary ap­proval for 23,000 pigs to soon take up res­i­dence at the Lib­erty Fields pig­gery near Monto, Mrs Fowler said this was a dis­cus­sion that was needed now.

No date has yet been set for the meet­ing, but with letters of in­vi­ta­tion sent on Tues­day she said the ball was rolling.

“I’m a big be­liever in turn­ing a neg­a­tive into a pos­i­tive. We might be about to have a whole lot of pig ef­flu­ent but we can turn that into an in­dus­try,” she said.

It is an idea long har­boured by Mrs Fowler.

She first be­came in­ter­ested in pig gen­er­ated power and fer­tiliser back in 2001, when Tarong En­ergy Com­pany com­mis­sioned a re­port high­light­ing huge eco­nomic ben­e­fits. But she said her plans fell on deaf ears when she re­ported the find­ings in 2004.

“Time has left people more open to these sorts of big ideas and in­no­va­tion,” she said.

Bai­ley Creek Pork owner Ian Hill has about 17,000 pigs over three prop­er­ties and said he had long been in­ter­ested in “pig power” too. “I’m not sure if govern­ment as­sis­tance would be pos­si­ble, but we would be very in­ter­ested if it was,” he said.

“There are lots of ver­sions of (pig ef­flu­ent driven) power gen­er­a­tion. It would cer­tainly be good to dis­cuss them.”

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