Sarah Thomson, Nicole Wallace (Goulburn Vally Water)
Linda Nieuwenhuize (Committee for Greater Shepparton)
Sharon Terry (Greater Shepparton City Council)
Angela Kelly, Noriko Wynn, Matt Stewart, John Poon, Kevin Werksman (Aurecon)
The Goulburn Valley is home to thousands of farms, orchards, packhouses, processors and manufacturers as well as storage, logistical transport and service providers, connected through multiple supply chain relationships.
The Goulburn Valley’s rare combination of large volume and diverse food production, processing, manufacturing and transport, generates year-round supplies of local waste materials and wastewater, demand for water, and all are located in a highly compact geographical area.
This means the Goulburn Valley is well-placed to take advantage of circular economy and transformative renewable energy technology that includes:
• Active leadership and support from local and state government organisations, urban water utility, energy provider and the local transportation, supply chain logistics, manufacturing, industrial and agrifood business sectors
• Recognition of the key and central role water and the urban water utility has in the circular economy and a net zero emissions future
• Conversion of industrial and municipal waste and recycled wastewater into biogas and renewable hydrogen to fuel the region’s heavy freight trucks to powering packing, processing and manufacturing
• Enabling direct renewable energy and fuel supply between farms and factories, local network storage, and local renewable energy suppliers
• Adding large batteries and local network storage to improve reliability and resilience
This has the potential to transform the Goulburn Valley region into an Australian first and world-leading, modern and sustainable processing, manufacturing and transport powerhouse. This transformation will secure access to reliable, affordable and sustainable energy that is generated and used locally to grow a more resilient and prosperous industrial base and attracting new businesses and providing high quality jobs. This approach can be replicated by similar agri-food, manufacturing/industrial, transportation and logistical regions and hubs across Australia, New Zealand, and the world. The Goulburn Valley can resource recovery hub be a catalyst for a megatrend in sustainable energy production and waste management that needs to be accelerated, and more widely adopted, to allow a global approach to meet the challenges of climate change, industrial transformation and to become a net zero emissions world.
This paper will outline the unique and successful collaboration that has led to the release of the circular economy thought leadership white paper on 28 April 2022. An example output of this partnership is attached. A Victorian government renewable hydrogen funding grant was secured in January 2022. This is a first step towards bringing the circular economy white paper recommendations to life to build a stronger, more resilient, and future ready Goulburn Valley region.