New site needed for organic recycling plant

Wings of change: A report recommends council find an alternate location for the proposed organic recycling plant due to an increased risk of bird strikes at the airport.
Wings of change: A report recommends council find an alternate location for the proposed organic recycling plant due to an increased risk of bird strikes at the airport.

Tamworth Regional Council will be considering alternate locations to build a proposed $5 million organic recycling plant at Tuesday’s first ordinary meeting of the year, while infrastructure to charge electric cars in the CBD will also be tabled.

A parcel of land near the airport on Duri-Wallamore road had been earmarked for the organic recycling facility, although a “specialist consultant” has found that the facility would increase the risk of bird strikes at the airport, recommending another location be found.

While those concerns did name a heightened risk of bird strike, they also included noise, flooding, bio-security and odour, as well as impacting any future plans to expand the Regional Airport.

Those apprehensions were also shared by numerous residents that live nearby the original proposed site.

Since the JRPP’s decision council employed the services of an independent company to conduct a Wildlife Risk Assessment Report.

That report made clear any new development in the vicinity of the airport should not add to the existing risk of bird strike.

“Any land use activity that increases the numbers of wildlife close to aircraft operations, such as the proposed Organics Recycling Facility is likely to do, is an unacceptable outcome,” the report said.

“It is our very strong recommendation that the proposal does not proceed in this location.” 

The report also recommended that TRC withdraw the project’s Development Application while they consider whether or not to go ahead with the current site, or continue searching for an alternate site.

Meanwhile, electric cars charging points are also going to be considered at Tuesday’s meeting.

A report to be considered by Councillors recommends five Council-owned car parks in the Tamworth CBD as suitable for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with one company already expressing interest in setting up charging stations locally.

The recommended locations are car parks at Solander Drive, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Hands of Fame, Gipps Street Playing Fields and the intersection of Griffin Avenue and Brisbane Street.

TRC Sustainability Coordinator Tracey Carr said there are currently about 4,000 electric vehicles on Australian roads, although that number is expected to increase to 230,000 electric vehicles by 2020.

“As electric vehicle numbers increase so will the need for networks of charging stations,” Ms Carr said.

TRC has registered an interest in becoming part of the NRMA’s charging network.

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