Cross-border recycling talks start
Councils are discussing plans for a cross-border recycling facility between Victoria and South Australia.
Staff from the Limestone Coast Local Government Association hare talking to western Victorian counterparts to discuss the possibility of a new recycling facility serving both states, backed with federal funds.
The Federal Government's recent Budget announcement included close to $250 million for recycling infrastructure.
Limestone Coast Local Government Association executive officer Tony Wright says initial conversations are going well.
“The board has given us the green light to go and do some market sounding now, and that's where we go and talk to industries and also to other councils across the border about whether this type of approach can be delivered,” he said.
“So, still quite early days, but it's looking really positive — I have discussed that informally with a couple of the cross-border CEOs, and they're quite interested to learn more about it.
“I was fortunate enough to be able to have a conversation with the Federal Government recently and they were very positive about it.
“Particularly [being a] cross border [project], it's quite attractive for Federal Government funding.
“So I think it's ticking a lot of boxes and in terms of Government focus it's really good timing.”
Mr Wright said the talks can continue despite a hard border between SA and Victoria.
“It won't hinder the discussions, because clearly we can use technology for that,” he said.
“I guess we'll need to think about how a solution would work if we had cross-border restrictions into the future — but this is a bit of a long lead time to build up the business case for this.
“I suspect we'll have most of those issues sorted out by the time we get to the decision-making point of if we're going to invest and how that investment will look.”
One of the early challenges will be dealing with two different Environmental Protection Authorities.
“Probably the biggest issue for us is to work with the Victorian Government and the South Australian Government with their respective EPAs,” he said.
“Just to look at how the different environmental regulations work in each state and to see whether a cross border solution is possible within those regulations.”