New wash down facility ups the ante on weeds

The fight against noxious and invasive weeds on the Western Downs has been given a helping hand with the opening of a new heavy vehicle wash down facility.

The facility is located at the old Chinchilla saleyards site on Slessar Street and was built by Queensland engineering and construction company Wiley for Western Downs Regional Council (WDRC).

Mayor Ray Brown officially opened the facility alongside, Deputy Mayor George Moore, Western Downs Councilor Greg Olm, WDRC CEO Phil Berting, the Wiley project team, and representatives from QGC and Powerlink. 

The facility will be available for use by energy companies, contractors, transport operators, landholders and community members who regularly travel off road and through private properties and who may have had their cars, trucks, tractors and other vehicles contaminated with soil and weed seeds.

Wiley project manager Ben Murphy said the state-of-the-art wash down facility would cater for everything from a farm utility to a road train and agricultural equipment.

“We designed the facility to minimise the risk of noxious and invasive weeds being spread by vehicles, earthmoving equipment and agricultural machinery,” Mr Murphy said.

“It efficiently removes dirt and organic contaminants from vehicles and then collects, screens and separates these materials in a secure compound,” he said.

“The system has been designed using modern technology to ensure it is reliable, requires minimal maintenance and is water and energy efficient.”

The facility will play an important role in reducing the spread of noxious and invasive weeds, particularly parthenium, throughout the region and protecting the valuable agricultural industry.

Parthenium is a prolific and aggressive plant that costs the beef industry approximately $16.5 million per year and cropping industries several million dollars every year.

The project was majority-funded through the Queensland Government’s Royalties for Regions program and by QGC, with financial contributions from the Federal Government’s Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program and Powerlink.

The Chinchilla facility is the second project that Wiley has successfully designed and built on behalf of Western Downs Regional Council in the past 12 months. They also completed the redevelopment of the Dalby Saleyards. There are two other projects currently under construction. 

“Wiley commends Council for taking the initiative to provide a facility that will help control the spread of a serious threat to agricultural land and the livelihoods of the people who live and work in the region,” Mr Murphy said.