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Why Barter Street in Gympie's CBD is rubbish

One of Gympie’s oldest residential streets is rubbish, thanks to a new form of environmentally friendly and sustainable asphalt made from recycled plastics, rubber and glass.  

According to Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch, Barter Street in Gympie’s CBD, is the first road in the region to have been laid using the recycled road surface.  

“This is a step in the right direction for our region,” Cr Leitch said.  

“Our impact on the environment is always at the forefront of Council’s mind and by utilising this recycled road surface, we are making sure our environmental responsibility is fulfilled. 

“The materials this road surface is made from, such as printer toner cartridges and tyre rubber, would have otherwise ended up in landfill,” Cr Leitch said.   

Unlike traditional road surfaces, the recycled asphalt is held together with a modified binder made from crumb rubber, soft plastics, old printer cartridges and glass.   

A kilometre of road can contain up to 500,000 plastic bags and packaging equivalents, 165,000 glass bottle equivalents and toner from 12,000 printer cartridges.  

The recycled asphalt is also more cost effective. For example, with Barter Street, quotes to use the modified product came in $40,000 cheaper than traditional asphalt products. Furthermore, the recycled material has been rigorously tested and proven to provide superior properties than the traditional material typically used for these works.

“While Council have a responsibility to the environment, we also have a responsibility to our residents,” Cr Leitch said. 

“If we can use a product that is cheaper, environmentally friendly and of the same if not higher quality than traditional products, we need to make serious efforts to do so. 

“My understanding is council staff are making plans to use this material on industrial roads around our region in the near future,” Cr Leitch said.  

The Barter Street project also included footpath and residential driveway works, as well as the planting of new trees.  

The total project budget was $438,000 with the Australian Government contributing $81,802 from the Roads to Recovery fund.   

Mayor's Column - Wednesday, 10th December 2019 Mayor's Column - Wednesday, 10th December 2019

Any sportsperson will tell you that generally the game, whatever the game, is not won or lost in the first five minutes; and planning for our future as a region is no different.

The announcement of the construction of the Bruce Highway upgrade next year is one such opportunity, with over 500 workers engaged with the project until 2025.  2017 seems a long time ago when I travelled to Canberra with my fellow Wide Bay Burnett mayors to support our federal member for this transformational project. Transport and Main Roads is also urging, as do I, local businesses to register with them to supply services.  It means that Gympie businesses will benefit and there will be opportunities for local employment. 

I am pleased to see the state government have announced that they will formally tend for the 2032 Olympics to come to South East Queensland and I have already met and spoken to our Premier regarding the opportunities our region can offer.  

The Wide Bay Burnett Council of Mayors, with myself as chair, have commenced advocating for another transformational project; the fast train between Brisbane and Bundaberg, which could also be transformational for our region.  

We also have a fantastic opportunity to review the Wide Bay Regional Plan which could see expansion and changed land use management right across our region; changes that will encourage sustainable development and opportunities with strong links to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.  As a region, we have seen our economy grow over the last five years, but we can always do more.

I must also thank Minister Mark Furner, Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry for declaring drought status for our region.  While this will provide some relief for our primary producers, nothing short of good rainfall right across our region will break the dreadful drought we are experiencing.  If you are a person of faith, prayers for rain certainly won’t do any harm.  

Mayor Mick Curran 

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