Strong local interest in Cobar BioHub


16-Aug-2016

Strong local interest in Cobar BioHub

RDA Orana’s BioHub Project has captured the interest of Cobar locals, if the attendance at an information session hosted by Cobar Shire Council is anything to go by. About 70 people turned out on Friday evening, from as far as 200 km away, to hear how the project can benefit the local community. 

Mark Glover of EcoWaste Pty Ltd explained what a BioHub is and how it works, and detailed the proposal for the Cobar BioHub.  “The starting point for the study was how to get enough value out of the products to be able to reimburse landholders the costs of clearing.  To make this work, we need to allocate all the biomass to its highest value use”.

There will be a range of outputs from the Cobar BioHub, including sawlogs and specialty timbers, essential oils, biochar, “clean” energy and high-value industrial materials used in steel manufacture. 

“It’s really important that the supply of biomass material is sustainable,” Mark said. “That’s what the big steel makers are looking for, so they can market their steel as being more environmentally friendly – it’s worth huge sums of money to them.”

Peter Yench, local landholder and RDA Orana committee member, was delighted with both the attendance and the positive reaction from the audience. “This is such an important economic opportunity for the whole Western Division,” he said. “We need people to show their interest to keep the project moving along. Into the future, I would like to see a whole network of these facilities throughout the western area, not just Cobar.”

“RDA Orana is compiling a list of people who are interested in receiving updates as the project progresses,” said Robyn Lamont, Acting Executive Officer, RDA Orana.  “Anyone who would like to be on the list but hasn’t already completed the form can get a copy from RDA Orana or Cobar Shire Council.” 

A steering committee is being established to help identify and resolve issues of concern, such as how supply contracts might work. People who would like to be part of the Committee and help direct the project are encouraged to contact RDA Orana to express their interest.

 

Media contact:

Robyn Lamont, Acting Executive Officer 6885 1488


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