COUN­CIL LOOK­ING INTO RE­NEW­ABLES

Where a bio­gas plant could be built in North Bur­nett

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Tobi Lof­tus Tobi.Lof­tus@cnbtimes.com.au

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

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