The site at the corner of the Mundubbera-Durong and Chinchilla-Wondai roads at Durong South which has been earmarked for a fuel cell … a final decision on the successful tenderer for the project has been postponed until February
SBRC Cr Kirstie Schumacher

December 17, 2020

A long-awaited fuel cell in Durong moved a step closer on Wednesday but the operator is unlikely to be announced until February.

At the SBRC’s December General Meeting, officers reported Council had received two responses to a November tender to build and operate a fuel cell on a block the Council owns at the corner of the Chinchilla-Wondai and Mundubbera-Durong roads at Durong South.

The block was once used as cattle yards and a dip, and is now used by B-double truck drivers to park their trailers as they ferry freight in and out of the region.

Council officers said tenders to operate a fuel cell on part of the site had been received from Emberwell Pty Ltd (part of the Corbet’s Group) and IOR Petroleum Pty Ltd.

The officers reported that while the Emberwell proposal largely met Council’s requirements, the IOR proposal “contained items not usual for tender submissions”.

These included specifying a location for the fuel cell different from the location offered in the tender document, and making the offer on a conditional basis.

Officers noted the Emberwell offer was $6600 a year lower than IOR’s offer but given the circumstances they recommended Emberwell be awarded the tender.

However, Cr Kirstie Schumacher disagreed.

Rather than accept an offer on the fuel cell proposal that day, Cr Schumacher said she wanted to move an amendment that the matter be laid on the table until the February meeting so Councillors could “workshop” the issue.

“I’d like to see this come to a committee meeting so we can get some more information and clarification around this decision,” Cr Schumacher said.

“I do have a few concerns about awarding what I understand is a long-term lease of 20 to 25 years, and I’d like more time to consider this.”

Cr Schumacher’s motion was seconded by Cr Kathy Duff and carried 6-1, with Cr Scott Henschen opposed.

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