A Whitsunday Regional Council boss has been nominated to take part in an international study tour that has the potential to see the Whitsundays become a leader in waste management innovation.
CEO Barry Omundson will represent the Greater Whitsundays Council of Mayors when he embarks on a tour of the UK, Europe and America to look at state of the art facilities designed to turn waste into energy.
Organised by the Local Government Association of Queensland, he will join a high profile delegatation of Mayors and CEOs to attend the tour and bring the findings back the region.
Mr Omundson said it was an opportunity for the Greater Whitsunday region to get ahead of the game in the waste industry.
“The waste industry has changed across the world, digging a hole to put waste in the ground is very last century. So having a facility in the Greater Whitsundays that actually turns waste into energy could create jobs and lower electricity prices. It’s an opportunity to put the region on the map.”
The initiative was brought up in a Whitsunday Regional Council meeting in Bowen last Wednesday and was met with unanimous approval.
Mayor of the Whitsundays Andrew Willcox said if the findings of the tour were viable, council would look at Collinsville as the location of the facility.
“The direction we’ll be going is to try and turn that waste into power out at Collinsville. It’s the solar capital of Australia so we think that we could generate solar power through the day and waste by night.
“It’s right on the line of the North South Grid, and we have land available which allows for job opportunities,” Cr Willcox said.
The initiative comes after a $3.9 million dollar allocation handed down by council in this year’s budget to build a new cell at the Bowen landfall.
Mr Willcox said there were exciting changes and new technology in the waste industry which could have environmental and employment benefits.
The International Waste Study Tour will take place from August 26 to September 8.
Source: Whitsunday Times.