The Queensland Government has committed more than $3 million from the Recycling and Jobs Fund to bolster waste management efforts within the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire community.
This substantial funding will facilitate the removal of accumulated waste from an old landfill site and the establishment of upgraded waste transfer station facilities at the same location, the government said in a media statement.
Additionally, the allocation aims to reduce transport costs and alleviate delays in waste removal, thereby preventing waste accumulation at the transfer station and facilitating improved separation of recyclable materials.
In particular, the initiative is structured as a two-stage project, with Stage 1 primarily covering the expenses associated with the acquisition of machinery essential for clearing Yarrabah’s existing landfill site.
Upon successful waste removal, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council (YASC) will proceed to enhance its transfer station facilities as part of Stage 2.
Additionally, the Department of Environment and Science, in collaboration with YASC, is exploring potential strategies to address future waste challenges, including addressing the stockpiling of white goods and the proper management of recyclables, all in an effort to maintain the cleanliness of Yarrabah.
Environment Minister Leanne Linard expressed the government’s commitment to partnering with the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council to enhance waste services for the community.
“We are committed to protecting Queensland’s unique natural environment and an important part of that is supporting new and enhanced resource recovery initiatives,” she stated.
Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt emphasised the significance of Yarrabah’s role as a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and its surrounding environmentally significant ecosystems.
He noted, “This funding will support responsibility for the country through faster waste removal and improved recycling and will help preserve the area for many generations to come.”
Meanwhile, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Ross Andrews expressed gratitude on behalf of the community, recognizing the State Government’s substantial financial support.
“This will allow us to obtain critical infrastructure and resources to manage this issue in a more efficient manner,” he said.
He also commended the Department of Environment and Science for their collaborative efforts in achieving this outcome, which supports the goal of providing a cleaner and safer environment for the community and the protection of the country.
The funding aligns with the implementation of “Respecting Country: A sustainable waste strategy for First Nation communities,” released in April 2022.
Co-designed with and for First Nation councils, this strategy aims to empower First Nations councils to deliver tailored waste management solutions that create economic and employment opportunities within their communities.