The Bonnick Rd Dump has three years of life left.
The Bonnick Rd Dump has three years of life left. Renee Albrecht

Door still ajar on $25m facility in the Gympie forestry

THE multi-million dollar Toolara Forest dump might still happen, with Gympie councillors told the plan could be a "fall-back” while they consider other options.

Gympie Regional Council voted last week to invite interest from waste operators as part of its investigation into the region's future waste service, a necessary step with no more than three years life left at Bonnick Rd.

While the aim is to secure a short-term solution, the report said the callout "is intended to explore whether there is a willingness from private operators to enter into an agreement for a period of 20-years of more”.

Gympie Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran at the budget meeting.
Gympie Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran at the budget meeting. Phil Coquerand

Asked by Cr Bob Fredman if this was "the last nail in the coffin of Toolara”, Infrastructure Services director Dimitri Scordalides said "they were still in the process of acquiring Toolara”.

He said the council would have greater flexibility in future negotiations with Toolara as a "fall-back position”.

The council decided unanimously to call for expressions of interest.

Cr Hilary Smerdon said the council needed to look at all options, while Cr Fredman noted it was "fairly well known there's a lot of airspace in Brisbane and Ipswich”.

The proposed Toolara dump is expected to carry a $25 million price tag.

Councillors Mark McDonald, Bob Fredman, Hilary Smerdon, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Daryl Dodt and Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch at the council's budget meeting.
Councillors Mark McDonald, Bob Fredman, Hilary Smerdon, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Daryl Dodt and Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch at the council's budget meeting. Phil Coquerand

Mr Scordalides said the council was finalising Native Title on the site, which could service other Wide Bay councils.

To bridge the gap after Bonnick Rd's closure a $3 million waste transfer station will be built at Laurenceson Rd, Monkland.

The council hopes to have this up and running in two years. It will be able to service long haul trucks which could cart the rubbish beyond this region.