Local, Science/Environment

Council in $26m waste crisis talks

Coffs Harbour City Council is in crisis talks over a 26 million dollar landfill contract with neighbouring councils.

See the Prime News 7 video clip here; http://Coffs Harbour City Council is in crisis talks over a 26 million dollar landfill contract with neighbouring councils.

Coffs Coast Outlook has published several stories relating to this looming issue over the past year.

See; https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/coffs-coast-landfills-drowning-in-rubbish/ and ; https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/could-a-proper-domestic-recycling-industry-work-in-australia/

Also see this article arguing waste management in Australia is “a corporate scam” https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/recycling-how-corporate-australia-played-us-for-mugs/

And this article discusses how recycling, being turned into clean energy, has been done successfully overseas; https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/recycling-crisis-is-an-opportunity-for-both-councils-and-the-country/

12 Comments

  1. Rikki Bekker

    So would I be right in thinking that while Council were writing up that glossy award submission for the Local Government Association Conference recently and telling everyone how brilliant they were this was brewing and they must have known about it?
    And here we are with this? In spite of having one of the highest waste levy’s for ratepayers in regional NSW? And our bulky goods collection is no more as well?
    Haven’t supporters of the Gordon Street Taj Mahal being telling us what wonderful project managers Council are?
    Well here’s the thing, managing waste efficiently and effectively is one of the most important things a local government entity like our Council must do. It is that basic.
    Yet it would appear that in spite of all the glossy PR and award submissions that the Coffs Harbour City Council “talks the talk” but doesn’t “walk the walk” on this most basic of tasks.
    But they reckon we should trust them with a building they say will not go above $76.5m, a figure based on an uncosted schematic design no less?!
    Yeah. Right.

  2. Using the Taj Mahal analogy is very appropriate. Anyone who’s been there will tell you it too is surrounded by slums – the slums of Agra.

    This mob have been unable to properly manage waste disposal or Englands Road tip for many years. Just drive north past the tip at the height of summer and fill your lungs with the pungent, disgusting odour of rotting garbage and greenwaste. A wonderful welcome to visitors and tourists to Coffs Harbour as they enter the city from the south. I’m sure the smell forced Bunnings to move and I feel sympathy for anyone who has invested in property surrounding the tip.

    I’ve always thought the only solution to the problem would be to relocate council chambers, or at least the office of the council’s director for waste management permanently to the tip. I’m sure this would resolve the problem extremely quickly.

    As for this latest waste management debacle. How on earth did council place itself in this current $26M dilemma? I’m sure they will claim ‘because of unforeseen circumstances’. Is it simply another example of council’s ineptitude when it comes to managing the most basic of its functions? How the hell then is the community supposed to put its full confidence behind this council to deliver its proposed civic/cultural proposal on time and on budget? Will they use the same ‘unforeseen circumstances’ excuse when the cost of this civic/cultural white-elephant blows out and rates notices go thru the roof?

  3. Paul and Sue Wayland

    Would it be right to suggest that ‘Recycling’ has been one of the biggest fails and biggest lies of the 21st. century?
    Locally though, would our Mayor and General Manager be prepared to swear on a stack of bibles that for a long time now, a great deal of our so called recycled waste has not been loaded (quietly of course) onto the many hundreds of trucks that travel through NSW to be dumped in landfill in QLD?

    (From the Outlook Facebook page)

  4. There are so many incredible innovative strategies on the table but there are no visionaries in government and, when it comes to solving BIG ISSUES, visionary thinking is not “in vogue” in Australia nor has it been “in vogue” for a very long time. That is why our nation is behind the 8-Ball; I estimate we are 3 decades behind the progressives; and that is why we are rapidly slipping down the ratings. In 1964 author Donald Horne wrote: “If you want to go into politics in Australia, best leave your intellectuality behind.” (Reference: The Lucky Country). I don’t think Horne was intending to be disrespectful to genuine souls, rather, Horne was warning people who might be considering a life in the political sphere that their colleagues may not listen to new ideas and may even act to bury/shred good intentions. Two weeks ago, Professor John Hewson (ANU University) wrote about the sad state of leadership. (Reference Friday 01/11/19: The Sydney Morning Herald). Donald Horne also expressed deeply concern over Australia’s over-reliance on the mining industry! Nothing much has changed since 1964. We are still ploughing into Mother Earth. We are still waiting for drought before widening our existing dams. We are still turning a blind-eye to those with bright ideas. We are still obsessed with sport and gambling and drinking large quantities of alcohol. We are still devaluing are artists. We are still making crazy decisions like Gordon Street. Perhaps it is time for a “rethink”?

  5. There are so many incredible innovative strategies on the table but there are no visionaries in government and, when it comes to solving BIG ISSUES, visionary thinking is not “in vogue” in Australia nor has it been “in vogue” for a very long time. That is why our nation is behind the 8-Ball; I estimate we are 3 decades behind the progressives; and that is why we are rapidly slipping down the ratings. In 1964 author Donald Horne wrote: “If you want to go into politics in Australia, best leave your intellectuality behind.” (Reference: The Lucky Country). I don’t think Horne was intending to be disrespectful to genuine souls, rather, Horne was warning people who might be considering a life in the political sphere that their colleagues may not listen to new ideas and may even act to bury/shred good intentions. Two weeks ago, Professor John Hewson (ANU University) wrote about the sad state of leadership. (Reference Friday 01/11/19: The Sydney Morning Herald). Donald Horne also expressed deeply concern over Australia’s over-reliance on the mining industry! Nothing much has changed since 1964. We are still ploughing into Mother Earth. We are still waiting for drought before widening our existing dams. We are still turning a blind-eye to those with bright ideas. We are still obsessed with sport and gambling and drinking large quantities of alcohol. We are still devaluing our artists. We are still making crazy decisions like Gordon Street. We are still pretending climate change does not exist. We are still being fooled by people who stand for public office on a platform of “acting in the best interests of the people”. Perhaps it is time for a “rethink”? A change of direction. A swing of the pendulum.

  6. In 2017, ABC Four Corners had a programme on the NSW Waste industry, exposing the corruption of companies, councils, the EPA and people involved with sending NSW recycling and rubbish to Queensland ? Did anything change, was anybody brought to justice ?
    Check out the programme on this link :
    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/trashed/8770146
    While “Big Brother” Coffs Harbour City Council controls and oversees the regions’ rubbish, recycling collection, and disposal, the local shires and Coffs Harbour Ratepayers will be paying for this debacle for a long time.
    Do we want another disaster when Gordon Street gets built using money the Coffs Harbour City Council doesn’t have, won’t have, but yet expects the NSW Government coming up with millions of dollars, despite the many times being told, “there will be NO $$$$$ for this building while ever the Council incorporates its offices into it “.
    All Council need to do is to make the building 100% Art Gallery, Library and Museum with a space to operate as a community function space, it will receive the funds and the mass opposition will disappear.
    Or back track and see the options at your disposal on land Council owns on City Hill at a fraction of the cost.
    If you are listening Mayor Knight, and General Manager McGrath, we the people have spoken and you need to heed the call to pause right now !!!

  7. Hi Rob, I hear you. Grants “might” be available if the civic centre component is removed from the proposed Gordon Street proposals. However, to create much-needed employment and generate much-needed revenue, any such facility must be situate where there is ample parking for tourist buses. Gordon Street is a “cramped” and “highly congested” space. To remain in this area for longer than 2 hours, one must fight for a carapace on the upper levels in the antiquated car parking area between the pot-marked and damaged laneway between the proposed Gordon Street development and the Coffs Ex-Servicemen’s Club. I am at loss to understand what is going on here?

    In the normal course, a council would present a Master Plan for a “State significant” site before spending rate payer dollars and the Master Plan would then be submitted to public scrutiny!

    This Council put the cart before the horse!

    Apart from providing some explanation as to why the cart should be put before the horse, this Council also needs to explain how it is going to fund the Gordon Street proposals as well as meet its commitments under the contractual agreements wth Nambucca and Bellingen on waste. This is one Coffs Harbour citizens who hopes and prays that Nambucca & Bellingen Councils and State & Federal Governments hold the current council to account. “Obligations” are “obligations” and just as there is an “obligation” on waste, there is an “obligation” attaching to the provision of Performing Arts/Museum/Library/Gallery/Hospitality on City Hill. At the very least, there was an “obligation” to investigate/explore the alternatives. Why wasn’t this done? Janne C Lindrum

  8. Not as smart

    Prediction: In the next 2 years Coffs tip face will close.
    The tip as we know it will become a transfere station
    All garbage will be transported from the transfere station to Grafton tip for disposal
    All Bio solids from CHCC treatment plants will be transported to Port Macquarie ‘s compost facility.
    Biomass facility will be put up for sale.
    Nambucca council will go back to useing their own tip

  9. Waste Warrior

    Coffs Harbour, Nambucca & Bellingen Councils have consistently had the highest diversion rates from Landfill in the state for the last 10 years as a result of previous Council managements innovative and forward thinking. The situation they have now been left in is a result of the China Sword Policy and the NSW EPA decision to ban the application of MWOO (Mixed Waste Organics Output) to land. Both these have been known for well over a year now and the Councils have sat on their hands and done nothing but whinge and moan whilst being unprepared for the inevitable closure of the Coffs Harbour landfill due to poor planning for the future. The lack of direction and heads in the sand is typical of this current Mayor/GM and senior staff. With critical issues in all areas of waste management likely to impact our city it’s worth watching our Mayors address to one of the largest waste conferences in the country held in Coffs Harbour every year. It should give everyone a far better outlook on what she considers important. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NkqTHzh688

    • Youtube video says it all. Isn’t she a card. It’s all about Denise and bugger all to do with mayoral duty. Delegates must be looking forward to the next episode of ‘the wild drunken adventures of Chris and Denise’ at the next conference.

    • Prarire Rose

      “I’m full of it” says the Mayor to the 2019 waste conference in the speech linked above by Waste Warrior to You Tube.
      That was the only true and worthwhile remembering thing she said in that collection of twaddle posing as a ‘speech’. And she is still “full of it” now too. Possibly even more so.
      What an embarrassment.

  10. I just watched the local news last night on council non recycling .As Waste Warrior commented this has been going on since 2007.The EPA is spending $3 million a year transporting landfill to Tamworth.I cant believe Tamworth accepted it ,even Asia said no to our waste!!It was reported that 80%of the “Red “bin was recycled ,this is bizarre.It was never meant to be recycled I thought only the Green bin,due to too many contaminants .Now the council is desperately trying to offload its stock pile of bio-compost all round our local parks, enjoy everyone .The EPA has banned it from use in agricultural lands due to possible glass ,plastic and asbestos.So the council in all its wisdom, did the Slomo do nothing approach(aka drought relief).Never fix a problem on the first day,because 90% of problems disappear by the next day..But their undoing was they have no idea how to fix the problem,just ignore it !!But I have a great distraction idea for the Mayor for the noisy public.The Mayor and GM could bring back the” All you can eat in bananas competition in one hour” ,like buskers week .Even if bananas are in short supply I hear there is a glut of blueberries to substitute for the competition.This could be promoted by our local paper(Pravda) in the GM s desk article.It would put a stop to all these naysayers and noisy minority We could all have good laugh, until the next rate notice!!Manana , manana

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