Proposal a ‘no brainer’

AUSTRALIAN Paper is conducting a feasibility study for a major recycling facility at Maryvale Mill pending the closure of Amcor Fairfield, which is presently the only local source for premium de-inked recycled pulp.

In a Latrobe City Council meeting on Monday night, councillors heard a presentation from Australian Paper’s senior marketing manager sustainability Craig Dunn who said the study was expected to be completed in September.

“The waste paper either goes overseas or to landfills; we anticipate 50 per cent of paper will come from Melbourne (as well as) other states to produce premium high-grade paper,” Mr Dunn said in his presentation, adding about 20 ongoing jobs could be created if the facility went ahead.

According to the company, a recycling plant at Maryvale would more than triple its output of recycled content office and printing papers, and would be a “significant investment in the Latrobe Valley and Australian jobs”.

Council also committed to using recycled paper from Australian Paper to support the local ecologically-sustainable pulp and paper industry, support the purchase of recycled paper and support the Maryvale Mill expansion proposal.

Councillor Graeme Middlemiss said the proposal was a “no brainer” and welcomed the company’s proposal to bring its plant into the shire to create jobs.

In voicing his support, Cr Darrell White welcomed the “important project” which had the potential to come into the municipality.

“The shire needs to send a signal to Australian Paper we welcome this; we hope it becomes a reality and comes to fruition,” Cr White said.

In the council’s officers report, it was stated the purchase of 100 per cent recycled Reflex paper would cost an additional $650 per year, or an additional 11 cents per ream.

“This is a reasonable offset given the prospective gains in jobs and reduction in impact on the environment,” Mayor Ed Vermeulen told The Express.