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Forward thinking solar investment to deliver long term benefits

26 June 2017

Council’s Dalby Customer Service Centre is the latest Council facility to make the switch to solar energy with a further 20 facilities set to go green across the region in 2017/18.

Western Downs Regional Council will continue to slash its electricity costs, as Council furthers its commitment to create clean, healthy communities in the 2017/18 Financial Year by investing in solar technology to power its high energy facilities across the region.

  • Under Council’s 2016/17 Solar Projects Capital Works Program funded under the Queensland Government’s Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program, 12 facilities are now all operating on energy generated from the sun;
  • The commitment to invest in solar technology will continue in the 2017/18 Financial Year, with a further eight community facilities making the switch, thanks to the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program;
  • Our Utilities infrastructure will also be given the solar treatment, with water and wastewater treatment plants in Dalby, Miles, Tara and Wandoan to be installed with photovoltaic arrays;
  • This forward thinking approach of investing in solar energy systems today will see Council’s operational costs reduced by hundreds of thousands of dollars per year creating many long term benefits for our communities.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Jackie Trad said through the Palaszczuk Government’s Works for Queensland program the Western Downs was getting both jobs and local infrastructure.

“These are the kind of great community infrastructure projects that Works for Queensland is making possible right across the state, delivering jobs and stimulating the local economy,” Ms Trad said.

“Western Downs Regional Council alone has received $2.6 million from the Palaszczuk Government through this program to deliver nine projects and I’m advised by Council that they’ve been able to employ 98 local people as a direct result of this funding.”

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said the 2017/18 Budget is all about making informed decisions that deliver value for money solutions now and into the future.

“Council is doing business smarter and more efficiently. By investing in solar technology, we’ve taken a forward thinking approach that will improve our energy efficiency, slash costs, and allow us to deliver our core functions sustainably,” he said.

“Being innovative and flexible in how we reduce our operational costs, means we’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits moving to a cleaner, greener energy source delivers.”

Spokesperson for Council Facilities Councillor Ray Brown said better procurement and funding from the Queensland Government has resulted in a significant cost saving.

“The second stage of Council’s Regional Solar Projects Program will build on the success of last year’s program, not only further reducing our operational costs, but delivering sustainable energy solutions at little cost to our ratepayers,” he said.

“Thanks to the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland funding program a range of Council owned facilities from Swimming Pools to Water Treatment Plants will make the switch to solar, joining our other facilities already fully powered by energy from the sun.”

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 Paul McVeigh Mayor | Western Downs Regional Council | 0408 700 392

Cr Ray Brown | Spokesperson for Council Facilities | 0407 650 216