Mount Isa News 2024
Latest Mount Isa Council Announcements
Fires From Batteries
Council is urging residents to keep car batteries out of general rubbish, following several recent fires at the Waste Management Facility believed to be caused by car batteries disposed of improperly.
The most recent fire occurred in late November 2023, with the Council requiring the assistance of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to extinguish the blaze.
The fire broke out in one of the landfill cells at about 6am and was extinguished by 2pm, and was caused by a spark emanating from a discarded battery within the refuse pile. There were two more fires, on September 12 and 13, 2023.
In the September 12 incident, a fire in the landfill was sparked by a discarded car battery in the refuse pile. In the September 13 incident, a fire broke out in a rubbish collection truck, believed to be due to a spark within the contents of the truck.
Council urges residents to separate batteries from their household waste, for the batteries to be disposed of properly. Car batteries can be left in designated areas at the Waste Management Facility and will be sent to Brisbane for recycling.
Home-security subsidies are available for Mount Isa seniors, thanks to the Queensland Government. Homeowners aged over 60 in Mount Isa may be eligible for subsidies for practical home security improvements. Find out more here.
Eligible customers can apply by calling 13 74 68.
Australian band Eskimo
Multiple ARIA Award-winning Australian band Eskimo Joe are performing in Mount Isa for one night only, and tickets are on sale now. Purchase your tickets at www.eventbrite.com.au/e/eskimo-joetickets-823218668197.
The concert will be held in the Civic Centre on Friday, July 26, from 7.30pm. The trio’s hits include “Black Fingernails, Red Wine” and “From The Sea”. Don’t miss out – secure your tickets today.
Local Government elections
A reminder that Local Government elections are being held on Saturday, March 16. Early voting will be available from Monday, March 4, or you can vote on election day.
The early voting booth in Mount Isa will be located at the Mount Isa Civic Centre from March 4. It will be open from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm, except on Friday, March 15, when it will be open until 6pm.
For a full list of voting locations and times, visit www. ecq.qld.gov.au. If you’re enrolled to vote, look out for a maroon-coloured voting card in the post. You can take this card with you when you go to vote to help you get in and out of the booth quickly. Voting is compulsory for all Australian citizens aged 18 years or older.
Free Plant Day is back for 2024, and registrations are now open. You can register to secure your native plants by signing up at www.surveymonkey.com/r/Freeplantday2024.
Registrations will be open until Friday, March 22. The Free Plant Day collection day will be held on Saturday, May 25, from 8am-5pm at Buchanan Park.
Participants are kindly asked to ensure they are available to pick up their plants on that day, or that a family member is available to collect them on their behalf. Camooweal residents will be contacted separately regarding pick-up times and locations.
Drop Off Your Used Batteries
Have you got a drawer full of used, dead batteries?
You can now drop them off for free at the Mount Isa City Library on West Street, or the Animal Management Facility on Richardson Road, for recycling.
Council has partnered with environmental foundation Planet Ark to have collection boxes at the above facilities, to enable members of the public to drop off their household batteries – including AAA/AA batteries, button-cell, coin, 9V, or single-use lithium batteries.
Also accepted are batteries found in laptops, mobile phones, power tools, and
Did you know that up to 95 per cent of the materials in old batteries can be reused in manufacturing projects, or used to make new lithium-ion batteries?
Many types of batteries also contain hazardous materials which can degrade in landfill (or even in your home, if stored improperly).
When batteries degrade, they release toxic chemicals that can leach into soil or waterways.
Batteries also pose a significant fire risk if they are not disposed of or stored responsibly.
Recycling your old batteries ensures we all make the most of the materials that have already been extracted. This means new materials will not have to be mined to make new batteries and other products, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Glencore – Response Plan to Closures
As part of the Council’s “Transitioning Mount Isa’s Economy: Response to Glencore Copper Mining Closure” strategy, the Council will contract the services of consultants in six specialised strategic areas to develop an overall response plan.
The plan will outline a path forward to safeguard the city’s economic future, following Glencore’s announcement in October 2023 that it would cease its Mount Isa copper-mining operations and copper concentrator by late 2025. The refinery and smelters will remain in operation.
The strategic areas covered in the Council’s document are tourism, energy, resources, critical infrastructure, agriculture, and small and medium business, representing the various “pillars” of Mount Isa’s economy.
For each area, each consultant will first carry out economic and environmental scans and ideas generation, to strategise the overall transition of Mount Isa’s economy, in partnership with the Mount Isa Copper Mine Closure Taskforce.
The consultants are Mott MacDonald Pty Ltd (energy); DeltaPearl Partners Pty Ltd (resources); KPMG (critical infrastructure); Scyne Advisory Pty Ltd (agriculture); and Bonwick Consulting Pty Ltd (small and medium business).
The tourism contract, for TRC Tourism Pty Ltd, will be awarded subject to the Council being awarded State Government funding. The council will also apply for funding to help cover the costs of the consultation contracts. If funding is not successful, the Council has budgeted for the contracts’ costs.
Some of the early actionable projects identified in the strategy include accelerating the CopperString high-voltage powerline project; the proposed Transport and Logistics Centre (to establish a base for transport operations in the region); a common-user facility for critical minerals (adapting Glencore’s large concentration facility to one that can also process vanadium, cobalt, and low-volume copper); and a renewable-energy industrial estate.
Council is now part of a working group that includes Glencore and Local and State government representatives and aims to ensure the closures’ impact on the city is kept to a minimum, including ensuring local miners are given priority for jobs in Mount Isa following the 2025 closures.
Mayor Danielle Slade said the Mount Isa and Region Futures Advisory Committee (MIRFAC) working group has commenced its activities, holding two meetings in December 2023.
It is of utmost importance that Mount Isa actively participates in shaping its future. Recognising the need for specialised expertise, the Council is determined to gather the most proficient minds to contribute to the strategic planning process. This collaboration will greatly benefit the goals and objectives of MIRFAC, Cr Slade said.
It is essential to acknowledge the significant role education and training will play in advancing our community.
Although we will endeavour to secure State and Federal funding, we must engage consultants experienced in assisting communities who have faced similar circumstances, such as those affected by the closure of the car industry.
Mount Isa possesses tremendous potential, but it is crucial, at this point, to prioritise securing employment opportunities for all copper mine workers and their families who choose to stay in Mount Isa.
Deputy Mayor and Economic Development portfolio holder Phil Barwick said the Council has moved quickly in response to the impending closure of the Mount Isa Mines copper mining operations.
Mount Isa’s sustainability is obviously important in the short term, and it is also timely to be very proactive in not only addressing the potential loss of significant numbers of jobs but planning meticulously how the city will manage the implications of the 2030 Net Zero emissions targets that will affect us all in the way business and industry is conducted in the North West, Cr Barwick said.
What it will mean for Council is that there is a lot of hard work ahead to come out of this, however, I am very optimistic that our structured planning now will also encourage growth for the city and the broader region in the medium term.
The Council held a Special Meeting on December 22, 2023, where it agreed to award the six consultation contracts.
*Previous Month Announcement is valid until 30 June 2024
Refuse Facility – New Process Now in Place
The council has reviewed its process to distribute tip tokens to improve accessibility and utilisation of the scheme.
Previously, tip tokens have been issued by the Council in conjunction with the rates notices, often limiting access to the refuse facility as tokens have been lost, misplaced, or not made available to the tenants of rental properties.
Council now wishes to advise that, instead of physical tip tokens, residents can present their current rates notice or driver’s licence with a residential Mount Isa address to claim free residential refuse disposal. This came into effect on Monday 6 November. This can be accessed on six occasions per residential property and will be valid until 30 June 2024.
The same conditions will apply as per the previous scheme – free entry into the Waste Management Facility, valid only for domestic vehicles carrying domestic/residential waste. This includes:
• Box trailers
This means that a car towing a trailer, both carrying waste for disposal, would count as two allocated visits for that individual property.
Mayor Danielle Slade said Councillors reviewed the updated scheme, which will improve access to the refuse facility, potentially reduce illegal dumping and be fairer and more equitable for ratepayers and residents alike.
“The new scheme is hoped to be easier and more accessible for all and it will be reviewed at the end of next financial year to see if residents have seen improvements with getting access to their tip token entitlement,” Cr Slade said.