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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

 

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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

24 June 2004

Walgett shire council commits to sustainable management of used oil


Used Oil Collection Facilities to be Installed

The Walgett Shire Council has been awarded $24,150 by the Australian Government to install used oil collection facilities at the Walgett and Lightning Ridge Landfills. They will be open to the public by the end of the year.

The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, congratulated the Council on its commitment to the sustainable management of a valuable resource.

"It's encouraging to see local councils taking positive steps, because disposing of used oil the wrong way can have devastating effects on our waterways and wildlife.

"If you spray used oil on your weeds, or pour it down the drain, you can cause serious environmental damage. Just one litre of used oil can contaminate up to one million litres of water," Dr Kemp said.

Mr Gamini de Silva, Manager Utilities and Recreation, Walgett Shire Council, said the facilities would be of great benefit to residents, particularly given the large numbers of farm machinery and heavy vehicles used within the region.

"We've had limited collection services available in the past. With the new facilities, recycling will be is easy, and as a community we need to be proactive in minimising the amount of used oil that enters waterways and our environment.

"All you will need do is extract the oil from your vehicle or machinery, put it in a clean container with screw top lid, and bring it in to either collection facility," he said.

Even though Australians are generally good at recycling used oil, it is estimated that up to 100 million litres go missing each year. Through the Product Stewardship for Oil Program, the Australian Government has awarded around $10 million in grants for the construction or upgrading of hundreds of used oil collection facilities around the country. Around $440,000 of this has been awarded to 16 councils in central western NSW for the upgrade or new installation of 35 facilities. The project is being co-ordinated by NetWaste, a collaborative waste management project supporting Councils throughout the region.

More information on oil recycling can be found at www.oilrecycling.gov.au or by phoning 1800 982 006.

Commonwealth of Australia