Will Casino ever get its biohub?

IT'S not easy trying to make the world green and there are days Fiona Waterhouse is on her knees crying about the struggle to install biohubs in Australia.

Like the take-up of solar energy, the normality of biohubs for reuse of waste may take decades not years, Ms Waterhouse said.

MORE: What a biohub in Casino could look like

One of those biohubs is planned for Casino with other sites in the Northern Rivers under consideration including Lismore, Murwillumbah, near Nimbin and west of Richmond Valley.

After announcing in February this year that Bundaberg was close to becoming Queensland's premier bio-manufacturing centre and working with the council for six years, Utilitas chief executive Ms Waterhouse still has an eye on Richmond Valley.

A biohub for Casino is still on the table and is part of Utilitas' two year plan, Ms Waterhouse said.

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The biohub will turn food waste and sewerage into transport fuel.

Initially the plan was to convert organic waste into electricity and gas but the costs and hurdles associated with this have been a hindrance.

Instead residents could eventually see their waste going into a digester and being turned into transport fuel.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown how reliant we are fossil fuels, Ms Waterhouse said, citing the government's rush to buy oil and store it in the United States in case of a shortage during the pandemic.

Thirty years ago Germany were dependant on Russia for gas, Ms Waterhouse said, and this precarious dependency drove them to find new energy sources and Germany now has 12,500 biohubs.

"They are world leaders, like Israel who are world leaders in water recycling," she said.

"Australia doesn't have that mentality."

Yet.

Richmond Valley Council is keen to support the reuse and extraction of energy from organic material as part of its innovations for the region and they are waiting on the feasibility research.

For Utilitas it is all about funding a sustainable future,

As a nation we need to get on board.

Fiona Waterhouse, chief executive, Utilitas Group.
Fiona Waterhouse, chief executive, Utilitas Group.


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