816. Hon Dr STEVE THOMAS to the Minister for Regional
refer to the state government's October 2021 publication Welcome to
Collie: Your investment destination, targeting private investment in
Collie industry, which on page 16 states —
There is significant opportunity for
the development of bioenergy and bioproducts industries in the Collie region �
(1) What are the specific bioenergy
and bioproducts industry opportunities in Collie?
(2) What building blocks are in
place for bioenergy and advanced bioproducts industries in Collie?
(3) What biomass
supply chains will the state government commit to deliver in order to provide
prospective proponents in Collie?
(4) In light of
this glossy marketing exercise, why did the McGowan government abandon its
commitment to build a $30 million biomass energy plant and a $30 million solar
farm, and why is it so far behind in its commitment to establish timber
plantations to grow biomass feedstock?
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
do not accept the premise of many parts of that question. It is true that in
2016 we made commitments that coming into government we would have the $30 million
biomass plant and a $30 million solar farm. Indeed, the member is someone I understood
was calling for us to do this—that is, to weave those amounts of money into the Collie industry attraction fund
and the Collie futures fund. The whole purpose of that was not saying that
there was not going to be any bioenergy or bioproducts industries—indeed,
there are some being worked on—but it was to give us greater
flexibility. To date, I think we have allocated in the order of $50 million
towards projects that cover a wide variety of things, and not simply bioenergy.
Of course, there are bioenergy products that are part of the plan. For example,
the document includes information on the Renergi Pty Ltd bioenergy and
bioproduct project. We are supporting Renergi to deliver a commercial-scale
demonstration plant in Collie that will recycle municipal solid waste and
biomass to produce bio-oil and biochar. Quite clearly, the Collie region has
the basic building blocks to support a bioenergy and bioproducts industry, as
well as many other industries. The potential biomass sources are varied and
include private supplies of horticulture, waste and waste from broadacre
cropping. The region around Collie has the right climatic conditions for
growing a wide range of feedstock.