Ef­flu­ent head­ing to Queens­land test site

Big Rigs - - NEWS - Barry Reynolds

WORK on Aus­tralia’s first road­side ef­flu­ent dis­posal fa­cil­ity will be­gin in the next 12 months af­ter the Aus­tralian Live­stock and Ru­ral Trans­porters As­so­ci­a­tion re­ceived a $400,000 govern­ment grant.

The fa­cil­ity will pro­vide live­stock car­ri­ers with a safe way to dis­pose of live­stock ef­flu­ent that is cap­tured dur­ing trans­porta­tion, ac­cord­ing to ALRTA CEO Mathew Munro.

Many trucks have ef­flu­ent cap­ture tanks on their trail­ers but some­times these can fill be­fore they can be dis­posed of at the des­ti­na­tion. The fa­cil­i­ties are al­ready in op­er­a­tion in New Zealand, a sys­tem the ALRTA is hop­ing they can du­pli­cate, be­gin­ning with the ini­tial test site on Queens­land’s War­rego High­way.

“We went to New Zealand in April last year with a del­e­ga­tion of op­er­a­tors and my­self and we had a look at what they do,” Mr Munro said.

“And we be­lieve the New Zealand model can be du­pli­cated here. We are hop­ing to build a net­work of fa­cil­i­ties op­er­a­tors can use free of charge. Be­cause of the lack of op­tions at the mo­ment there are in­stances where op­er­a­tors are forced to dis­pose of ef­flu­ent in un­man­aged sit­u­a­tions, which is far from ideal.”

Mr Munro said it had taken some time to pro­vide the fa­cil­i­ties be­cause of the lack of fund­ing and the recog­ni­tion that ar­eas, such as South­east Queens­land, had a rapidly grow­ing live­stock in­dus­try, with pro­ces­sors and large feed­lots as well as a huge growth in pop­u­la­tion.

It is ex­pected that there will be the equiv­a­lent of 20,000 semi-trailer move­ments a year along the War­rego High­way.

“As the in­dus­try has grown, the prob­lem has be­come more acute and we feel that it is time that ac­tion was taken,” Mr Munro said. “It is im­por­tant from the per­spec­tive of road safety but there is a biose­cu­rity fac­tor as well. The man­age­ment of ef­flu­ent is just some­thing that has to be done.”

He said the scheme had the sup­port of the en­tire sup­ply chain, from pro­ces­sors to feed­lots and an­i­mal wel­fare ad­vo­cates.

“There are a whole lot of ben­e­fits to do­ing this. It is just find­ing the right way to de­liver it in the Aus­tralian con­text is the chal­lenge,” Mr Munro said.

The pi­lot site will show how much ef­flu­ent can be cap­tured, the costs of its op­er­a­tion, and the op­tions for ef­flu­ent dis­posal from the fa­cil­ity.

“It is just find­ing a part­ner who in the com­mer­cial sense can make it work for them,” Mr Munro said. “There are par­tic­u­lar cir­cum­stances in each lo­ca­tion which dic­tate the op­tions that are avail­able … so we need to find some­thing that works well in South­east Queens­land.”

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

LIVE­STOCK SITE: Com­post­ing, worm farms and en­ergy pro­duc­tion are some of the in­dus­tries be­ing sought to part­ner on the project.

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