National crisis presents great opportunity for Dubbo Region
China’s National Sword policy is certainly a crisis that has
yet to get mainstream national attention. But I can assure people that the
issue is huge and will certainly become a major political issue that needs to
be sorted out.
National Sword is the name of the Chinese Government’s new
policy of no longer taking recyclable goods such as paper, plastics and glass
from other countries like Australia.
Most residents don’t know that until last year the bulk of
our recyclable products that were placed in our yellow bins actually got sent
to China, as Australia repurposes very little of our own recyclable
Right now, there are giant stockpiles of plastics and glass,
even images of these valuable materials ending up in landfills because there is
no currently market for the products. It’s clear that this is a huge issue
that will soon hit the wider public conscientiousness.
However, this nationwide crisis can actually be Dubbo’s
great economic opportunity.
The only serious solution for our recyclable material is to
repurpose it here in Australia. It would be foolish for us to simply seek
another international destination only to risk the same issue happening again.
The government is going to have to facilitate the creation of a domestic
recyclable materials industry that includes major plants around the country
that melts down plastics and glass for reuse. That’s where Dubbo can benefit.
Our current Whylandra Waste and Recycling Centre is
huge. It’s 500 hectares of land that is used for landfill and is the site
of Council’s green waste repurposing and composting facility. This site
could also easily be the home to a very large plant that could service
communities from all over the eastern seaboard.
The Whylandra site is only 20 minutes from the new Inland Rail
line that is being constructed at Narromine. This rail line will
effectively be a connection between Victoria and Queensland that is designed to
take very large loads. This new line could easily take recyclable goods
from both north and south, using the existing minor line for the final
Added to this great new Inland Rail, Dubbo is already a
transportation hub. We all know about the Newell, Mitchell and Golden
Highways leading into Dubbo, we also are well aware of our existing rail lines
coming into the region as well. All this makes Dubbo the logical home of
this giant facility.
A Government-facilitated and sponsored national recycling
hub in Dubbo would be a game changer for the economy of our region. The
jobs that it would generate would be huge. The possibilities of being the
first point of renewing plastics and glass would require hundreds of jobs.
It’s for this reason
I have asked council staff to start putting together a proposal and plan to
present to the Government. It’s my view that we must be ready for these
sort of opportunities so when they arise, we are all set to go and ahead of the
game compared to other competing proposals from around Australia.
Last Edited: 28 Mar 2019