Guess what's going to happen when 'Mt Bonnick' fills up...
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
COUNCIL is about the three Rs, right? Roads, rates and rubbish.
At least that's the traditional mantra: The basics any council needs to keep a grip on.
By all accounts, Bonnick Rd has already been extended way past its original lifespan, and isn't so much a landfill these days as a land hill.
So what's the plan?
The difficulty with any new landfill is you can't just find an old quarry and start backing up the trucks.
In Mt Gambier, we explored a cave once used as a dump for a distillery and an abattoir, and which decades later risked tainting groundwater and was a costly fix.
So it's no surprise these days every level of government is making the disposal of rubbish more challenging.
You've got national and state waste policies, as well as environmental protection stuff to work through.
All these hoops I found listed in Gympie's own Waste Management Strategy from back in 2013, as was a plan to develop a new dump at Toolara which, I believe, was all just about settled as far back as 2008.
But instead of a new tip, what we've had since are closures of landfills all over our region.
Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach, Gunalda, Kilkivan and Goomeri are all gone, with transfer stations established and rehabilitation of these landfills either started or announced.
And where is the rubbish being transferred to?
Well, that last bastion of trash in our region, Gympie's Bonnick Road Waste Management Facility.
Only, you know what else is mentioned in our recent draft budget?
Mt Bonnick is to be closed and turned into a transfer station like all the others.
And the course of action our council has come up with after working on this since at least 2013? To 'procure short-term waste disposal outside the region'. Seriously, our plan appears to be to beg use of neighbouring councils' tips. At a substantial cost, no doubt.
Meaning we don't really have a plan. Just lots of reports, strategies and important bureaucratic papers in play. Sometimes you really have to wonder if someone in charge thinks the three basic Rs are roads, rates and reports.
And given at least seven years "working” on this, for all the good these reports appear to do us they may as well toss them in the bin.
Only, where they'll end up from there is legitimately anyone's guess.
Bruce Devereaux, Gympie