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Switching to solar energy gives jobs injection to local communities

12 July 2017

Joining the 12 Council-owned facilities across our region already operating on solar power, the Jandowae Community and Culture Centre was recently installed with 38 solar panels by local subcontractors.

Joining the 12 Council-owned facilities across our region already operating on solar power, the Jandowae Community and Culture Centre was recently installed with 38 solar panels by local subcontractors. Photo credit: Allara Energy 

Adding to the success of Western Downs Regional Council’s first leap into using solar technology to power our high energy facilities, we’re continuing to take advantage of our region’s clear blue skies and abundance of sunshine by rolling out clean, green solar energy solutions to a further 18 facilities.

  • Joining the 12 facilities already operating on energy generated from the sun, Council has committed to invest $1.23 million in the 2017/18 Budget to go green, that will see operational costs reduced by hundreds of thousands per year;
  • A range of high-use Council owned facilities from Swimming Pools to Water Treatment Plants will make the switch to solar, with local subcontractors already rolling out installations in Dalby, Jandowae, Miles and Wandoan;
  • This first phase will see eight community facilities installed with a total of 349 panels, offering a great return on investment paying for themselves in less than three years;
  • The installation for solar arrays on our Utilities infrastructure is currently out to tender;
  • Council was successful in securing funding from the Queensland Government under the Works for Queensland program for these projects.

Council Spokesperson for Council Facilities Councillor Ray Brown said Council’s Stage 2 Solar Projects is not only creating cleaner, greener communities, but it’s contributing back into the local economy by creating local jobs.

“Thanks to the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland funding program we’ve been able to give the greenlight on projects that will see the delivery of instant benefits to our region, while also giving an important boost to jobs in the area,” he said.

“The roll out of solar installations on our community Swimming Pools and remaining Cultural Centres will see 6 jobs created locally, giving a boost to our regional economy.

“The installs are already powering ahead with local subcontractors completing works at the Knowles Pavilion in Dalby, The Jandowae Community and Cultural Centre, Miles Swimming Pool, and Wandoan Community and Cultural Centre.

“By doing business smarter and more efficiently we’re reinvesting in the future of our communities and delivering value for money solutions that will allow us to deliver our core functions sustainably.”

The Council facilities highlighted in the 2017/18 Capital Works Program to go green include:

  • Jandowae, Miles, Tara, and Wandoan Swimming Pools;
  • Jandowae and Wandoan Community and Cultural Centres;
  • Chinchilla Recreational Grounds;
  • Dalby Regional Saleyards;
  • Dalby Showgrounds Pavilion;
  • Dalby, Miles and Tara Water Treatment Plants;
  • Dalby, Miles, and Wandoan Wastewater Treatment Plants;
  • Dalby Washdown Facility;
  • Dalby and Miles RO Water Treatment Plants.

The Regional Solar Projects under the 2017/18 Capital Works Program is an initiative of Western Downs Regional Council and the Queensland Government.

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Media Contact:
Cr Ray Brown | Spokesperson for Council Facilities | 0407 650 216