Queensland last to commit to recycling infrastructure investment

Queensland is the only state left to announce how it proposes to match and invest the Commonwealth’s funding commitment of $190 million through its Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) to upgrade and expand glass, plastic and tyre recycling infrastructure.

National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) CEO Rose Read said the Commonwealth’s RMF represents a $190 million commitment to co-invest in critical recycling infrastructure with state and territory governments and industry on a 1:1:1 basis as a response to the COAG Waste Export ban agreed in March 2020.

“It’s disappointing that Queensland had not yet confirmed its funding commitment when every other state and territory had begun utilising the Fund.

“According to the National Waste Report 2020, in 2018-19 Queensland’s resource recovery rate was 48.7%, well below the national average of 63% for the same period.

“This is no time for Queensland to be complacent. According to the National Waste Report 2020, in 2018-19 Queensland’s resource recovery rate was 48.7%, well below the national average of 63% for the same period,” Ms Read said.

Read NWRIC’s full media release here


Fast facts:  Industry leaders in job creation

NWRIC’s From Waste to Value- The Australian Waste & Resource Recovery Industry 2020 report provides an important snapshot of employment in the waste and resource recovery industry.

“Our Waste to Value report shows the industry is punching well above its weight in job creation, with jobs growth of 13% or 4000 jobs over five years and outperforming total jobs growth in the economy by ten percentage points over this same period,” said NWRIC CEO Rose Read.

“More than 5000 businesses employ more than 100,000 people (36,000 directly and 70,500 indirectly), making the industry a significant employer in our cities and regional areas.”

Check out our interactive map on the NWRIC website to see how many people work in the waste and recycling sector in your local area.

The economic benefits of our employees are substantial with every employee in the industry on average generating $150,000 in direct value add to the Australian economy: more than that of the manufacturing industry.

Ms Read said that resource recovery generates 3.3 times more jobs than landfilling along with significant greenhouse gas emission savings.

“Two more reasons why it’s important for government and industry to come together and expedite Australia’s capacity to recovery materials and energy from waste, not only does it create jobs, it also helps deliver on our target of 80% resource recovery by 2030.”


Review of Used Packaging Materials NEPM and the Australian Packaging Covenant

The Federal Government has announced a review of the Australian Packaging Covenant and National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 (NEPM).

The Covenant is an agreement to reduce the environmental impacts of packaging and in place between Australian, state, territory and local governments, and organisations in the packaging supply chain.

The NEPM is Commonwealth legislation implemented and enforced by states and territories which supports and complements the voluntary strategies in the Covenant.

The review is looking to evaluate how well the NEPM and Covenant are achieving their environmental protection goals and will cover administrative, policy and legislative issues around the application, effectiveness and efficiency of the arrangement.

The NEPM and Covenant has been in place for more than 20 years.  The NWRIC considers it has been a total failure.  The packaging issues Australia faced 15 to 10 years ago still exist today. Poorly designed packaging that prevents high recycling rates, limited reuse of materials back into packaging, the cost to manage packaging at end of life including cleaning up litter still being left to local councils.

The NWRIC considers the only way to solve the packaging issues that face Australia is to mandate recycled content, to penalise companies who do not meet sustainable packaging guidelines or labelling and to implement a mandatory product stewardship scheme that sees end-of-life packaging costs shifted from local councils to the companies who put the products on to the market.

The introduction of container deposit schemes in NSW, ACT, QLD and WA have shown how effective a properly regulated scheme can quickly change behaviours, reduce litter and increase resource recovery rates.

A consultation paper is available to read along with an online survey form or to upload a submission. Feedback is due by 5 March 2021.


CRC-P Round 11 is now open

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews MP and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, the Hon Andrew Gee MP, this week announced the opening of CRC-P Round 11.

Round 11 will be open to all industry sectors however will have a focus on supporting projects that align with the National Manufacturing Priorities.

As part of the Australian Government’s Regionalisation and Decentralisation Policy framework, Round 11 also includes dedicated funding for projects that support research and development activities in regional areas.

Grants are for up to 3 years, with matched funding of between $100,000 and $3 million.

Applications close on 25 March 2021.