COUNCIL LOOKING INTO RENEWABLES
Where a biogas plant could be built in North Burnett
RENEWABLE energy could soon become the North Burnett’s next big industry, as North Burnett Regional Council looks into plans for a biogas plant near Monto.
Mayor Rachel Chambers said the specifics were confidential, but could say the council had looked at renewable energy options with businesses and industries in the region.
“We’re looking at using industries’ waste and turning it into a renewable resource,” Cr Chambers said.
“We’ve mapped out areas with high waste and matched the high waste with renewable energy.
“Everyone is looking for future opportunities and (the) council wanted to be on the front foot and be the first with new technology.”
Biogas is created when organic matter, such as manure, food scraps, crop residue and feedstock is heated.
The announcement follows the Queensland Government’s introduction of a 50% renewable energy target for the State by the year 2030.
A report presented to the council on October 2 by deputy chief executive officer David Wiskar said with increasing environmental regulations, it was likely the rural sector would endure increasing pressure to manage its waste responsibly.
“Many agribusinesses of the North Burnett have begun to factor this additional cost into their future development and business plans,” the report said.
“During consultation with feedstock suppliers during NBRC’s Biogas feasibility study, it has become apparent that waste management is a major obstacle to expansion and development of our intensive farming industries who are also major employers and contributors to the North Burnett’s regional economy.”
Cr Paul Lobegeier told the council if people wanted cleaner energy, they had to be prepared to pay more.
“If you think you’re going to get cheaper electricity any time soon, then you should pay the tooth fairy,” Cr Lobegeier said.
Cr Chambers said the council was also looking into whether to use state-owned, council-maintained lands for other forms of renewable energy, including solar.
“We are working with the State and developers in identifying what could be done on the land,” she said.
We wanted to be on the front foot with new technology — Rachel Chambers