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Ex-PM Visits Cherbourg’s Recycling Plant

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Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council economic development officer Sean Nicholson, Special Envoy for Indigenous Affairs Tony Abbott and Materials Recycling Facility manager Andrew Beckett in Cherbourg on Wednesday

March 20, 2019

Federal MP Tony Abbott has urged Cherbourg Council to put together a business case for a new $380,000 baling machine after visiting Cherbourg’s recycling plant on Wednesday.

The Federal Government’s Special Envoy on Indigenous Affairs visited Cherbourg last November and promised then that he’d return.

His last visit was greeted by a small protest outside the Council Chambers, but this time it all went smoothly for the former PM.

Mr Abbott visited the Cherbourg Council Chambers, the State School, Gundoo Early Childhood Centre and Cherbourg Radio on Wednesday morning before making his way to the Materials Recycling Facility.

Facility Manager Andrew Beckett and Cherbourg Council economic development officer Sean Nicholson escorted Mr Abbott through the plant, where he had the opportunity of seeing the sorting machines in action.

He also chatted with the workers.

Andrew explained to Mr Abbott that the facility was currently using an old auto-tie baler generously leased to Cherbourg by Cleanaway Waste Management for just $1 a year.

This machine compresses and bales sorted waste but can take as long as 90 minutes to prepare each individual bale.

A new machine, bought and installed, would cost $380,000 but would turn out compressed bales in anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes.

This would substantially improve the efficiency of the plant, saving time as well as money.

Mr Abbott urged Sean and Andrew to prepare a business case for the new machine and liaise with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Cherbourg recycling facility currently employs nine workers and processes 3000 tonnes of recyclable materials a year.

It recently received funding under Round 4 of the State Government’s Building Our Regions program which will allow the construction of more sorting platforms and storage areas.

Sean said these improvements would create a huge efficiency gain in the facility and increase employment to 15.

Some of the recycling team … David Simpson, Leon Skinner, Alwyn Sullivan, Cyril Georgetown, Gordon Davidson and Damian Selby

Some of the waste waiting to be processed through the sorting machines

One of the final sorting lines in action

Compressed bales of aluminium cans ready to be shipped out of Cherbourg


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2 Responses to Ex-PM Visits Cherbourg’s Recycling Plant

  1. Chris Radunz

    Where is all this compressed stuff going now? Who is buying it?

    • News Desk

      We’ve been told that it is placed on an auction site which is used by the industry, and yes, it is being sold.

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