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 material. 

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 20-minute journey.

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

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