Below are some of the initiatives I have set in motion since I joined West Tamar Council in October 2014
Engineering & Energy
Council's purchasing policy requires we seek quotations, and I have recommended a procedure which ensures this process is easily and efficiently managed. This ensures that Council gets the best value for our ratepayers' dollar.
update 13th May
A revised procedure has been approved by the Finance Unit and should receive endorsement at the May council meeting. Maybe not significant savings but ratepayers can be assured that their rates are being wisely spent.
Recycling / FOGO
I have been a long time supporter of recycling. This includes supporting innovations in recycling, reducing waste and helping to implement systems that benefit us all. I have many examples of times I have liaised with stakeholders to understand the possibilities and limitations of what can be achieved and strive for the best possible results.
I am very proud of the implementation of Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) in July of 2018 by the West Tamar Council. The fortnightly, kerbside service is a convenient way for households to recycle food and garden organics with the potential to save on inconvenient trips to the tip and help by reducing landfill and greenhouse gas emission.
Some of more thoughts on recycling.
– I’ve often heard the story that our recycling just ends up as landfill so I thought I would investigate. Last week I had a tour of the Toxfree facility in Invermay and was very pleasantly surprised. Not that the facility is the most pleasant place – imagine a large shed with a mountain of recyclable material – front-end loaders lifting massive piles onto conveyors where a series of processes , some human operated , some automatic, sort our recycling into various categories. As fast as the pile is sorted another truck dumps more and the process continues – until something undesirable slips past the sorters, jams the machinery and everything grinds to a halt while the problem is fixed.
Just because some of your “rubbish’ is made of a recyclable material doesn’t mean it can all be processed by kerbside collection – don’t put the old toaster in the bin – the conveyors at Toxfree can’t handle it – take it to the steel recycling bin at the waste transfer station.
The average West Tamar resident recycles less than the national average – we could and must do better.
Where does it all go to?
Around 10% of the recycling DOES end up in landfill – that’s usually the stuff that shouldn’t have been put into the recycling bin in the first place. I asked the guys at Toxfree about their pet hates:
Suicide, especially youth suicide, is a growing problem and urgently in need of our attention.
I have been approached by CORES - Community Response to Eliminating Suicide, regarding the establishment of a group in the West Tamar, and this is now a flourishing group with regular meetings. I am committed to helping in any way possible and welcome any contributions or attendance from members of the community.
Road kill is a blight on our roads, a confronting sight for many visitors to Tasmania, and is difficult to eliminate.
I requested a report be prepared as a first step in examining what can be done to manage the issue. Council officers provide information and data including an appraisal of the current situation, and suggestions as to its management. A variety of methods are in use elsewhere, and this aim of this report is to identify our options.
The West Tamar Highway is maintained by Department of State Growth - Storwaway hold the current contract and their obligations are:
From Launceston to the Batman Hwy - requires twice weekly inspection and roadkill to be removed within 2 days of being identified.
North of the Batman Hwy - requires weekly inspection and roadkill to be removed within 7 days of being identified.
Council maintain the other roads are the clearing is done regularly, depending on the incidence of road-kill. They also respond to any requests - as it's impossible to constantly patrol all the roads - so if you want a "highway pizza" removed - call the Works Department on 6394 5386