March 3, 2022
‘It’s a game-changer.’
That’s what Deputy Premier, and Minister for Regional NSW, Paul Toole, who was in Parkes on Tuesday, thinks about a new tenant for Parkes’ Special Activation Precinct (SAP).
He was in Parkes to announce a $260 million direct investment, and over 100 new jobs, are coming to the SAP as a result of global recycling company Brightmark’s new plant, with construction set to begin next year.
“Brightmark’s $260 million investment in Parkes sends a clear message to other global companies – Parkes is the perfect place to invest, now and into the future,” Mr Toole said at Tuesday’s huge announcement at the Parkes SAP.
“Parkes offers unparalleled access to Australian markets as the only intersection of Australia’s two major rail spines.
“The industrial precinct offers the potential for businesses to move their goods to 80 per-cent of the population, or through any number of international ports overnight.
“This is why the NSW Government invested $185.4 million to kick-off delivery of the Parkes Special Activation Precinct and it is exciting to see the benefits of the Parkes precinct already coming to life,” said Mr Toole.
Brightmark’s Australian representative, Kean Flanagan, explained in greater detail what exactly the plant would do.
“Our slogan is to ‘Reimagine waste’, and that is exactly what we do – we are turning waste into a resource,” he said.
“We take plastics that are not otherwise able to be recycled, or are contaminated, and are able to make a high-value product.
“It will have a minimum of a $3 billion economic activity across the Central West over its 20 year lifespan based on the current oil prices.
“All our products are import replacement, so we are good for the Australian economy, and it means we give ourselves as Australians the sovereign capability of dealing with our own problems here in our backyard,” said Mr Flanagan.
Mr Flanagan also pointed out this was a much different process than energy-from-waste, and that carbon emissions would be very low.
“We are not an energy from waste plant…we don’t combust plastic, and have zero incineration…so from the process itself there are zero emissions, and when it is fully operational, for example, we will produce less emissions than the hospital over the other side of town.”
At the announcement Mr Toole said the investment was a sign of the reputation Parkes now holds.
“This is going to be a game-changer for this community,” he said.
“This is the first anchor tenant in this Special Activation Precinct, with a $260 million direct investment.
Mr Toole was also very keen to point out that crucially, it would keep young people in the region, instead of packing up and heading to the city by default.
“This project itself will see around 125 -150 jobs created during the construction phase, but importantly 100+ ongoing jobs once opened,” he said on Tuesday.
“Construction is due to start next year and be completed in 2025.
“It will also see jobs for young people in Parkes…they won’t have to pack-up and leave town, they’ll be able to find a highly-skilled, highly-paying job right here,” said Mr Toole.
Brightmark senior vice president of global plastics development and origination, Shakil Rahman, said the facility in Parkes will be the largest of its type outside the United States.
“The Parkes facility will process 200,000 tonnes of plastic waste, diverting that waste from landfill, to create alternate usable plastic products that are delivered back into the circularity market, assisting Australia to lower its carbon footprint.”
“When you look at Brightmark, they are a global company, and are investing over $66 billion around the world, and they have chosen Parkes for an area to put their recycling plant, which is the first of its kind in Australia.
“And wait until you see other businesses that want to invest on the back of that…it’ll help drive confidence in the local area,” said Mr Toole.
Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM, was beaming with pride at the announcement – which is so affirming for the reputation of the town.
“To have an international company of their quality and prestige choosing Parkes out of all of Australia to develop their site in the SAP, is a real demonstration of the future of the SAP,” he said on Tuesday.
“We want the Parkes SAP to be the first United Nations Economic Development site in Australia.
“This is where we will have the circular economy re-using waste, using energy from waste and processing and valuing agricultural products.
“We’ve already got a pet food company using local grain products…and this announcement will be the catalyst for more to come,” said Cr Keith.
What an incredible show of faith in the Parkes shire economy – and the Central West as a whole!