Coalition’s waste & recycling commitments a step in the right direction

The Coalition’s 3rd May announcement, ‘A cleaner environment for all Australians’, reveals a Federal election which has seen the biggest tri-partisan commitment to waste and recycling in Australian history. The Coalition promises follow equally welcome commitments by the Labor Party and the Greens.

While the commitments from the parties vary in focus and values, broadly this election has at last seen the recognition of the waste and recycling challenges facing Australia, and the lost employment and environmental opportunities for our country.

This is welcome news for all Australians because, irrespective of who they vote for, they all put their bins out.

Furthermore, industry’s priorities are clear; more jobs, better services and less pollution. There is really nothing to disagree about delivering this essential community service.

In regard to Scott Morrison’s announcement, the NWRIC welcomes;

● $100 million for the Australian Recycling Investment Fund
● $20 million for the new Product Stewardship Investment Fund
● $20 million to find new and innovative solutions to plastic recycling and waste
● $5.8 million for various recycling initiatives and a
● commitment to continue to work with state, territory and local governments on opportunities to get more recycled content into road construction

However, the NWRIC is concerned about the lack of targets for government procurement of recycled goods, incentives to producers to increase recycled content in their products and packaging or willingness to drive harmonisaton of state waste regulations and levies in the Coalition’s announcement. Good policy combined with funding is the key to effective outcomes and greater certainty for industry investment.

“For Australia to overcome the waste and recycling challenges it faces, the Commonwealth Government must step up and lead reforms like these with vigour. Having six States and two Territories enforcing different laws, levies and standards limits industry investment in innovative waste management and resource recovery infrastructure and services essential to building a circular economy.”

“Likewise, for the proposed Product Stewardship investment to achieve meaningful outcomes, any industry led scheme must be underpinned by smart, simple regulations that create a level playing field and ensure full producer engagement with no free-riding.”

“The National Waste Recycling Industry Council is calling for the appointment of a National Waste Commissioner to drive these necessary reforms and a tri-partisan approach to harmonising the regulations framing our industry. This process has been a clear success for work health and safety and heavy vehicle laws.”

“Every household and business in the nation purchases waste services, and most purchase recycling services. Therefore, the Commonwealth can cut costs for all Australians and stimulate industry investment by driving collaboration between states, industry and producers and essential regulatory reforms” said Rose Read, CEO of the NWRIC.

“It is critical that whichever party wins the upcoming Federal election that they work proactively with industry to create jobs, serve communities, protect workers and reduce pollution.”

Media Contact – Rose Read CEO – 0418 216 364 ceo@nwric.com.au 

 

ABOUT THE NWRIC
The National Waste Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) is the national peak body representing waste and recycling businesses. We work to improve waste and recycling services for all Australians.

The NWRIC members work together and cooperatively share a vision for a fair, safe, innovative and sustainable waste and recycling industry. The NWRIC members do this by:
● transforming waste into resources for reuse or energy;
● ensuring the safe handling, disposal and treatment of non-recyclable and hazardous waste; and
● providing a safe and clean environment for the community.

Our members and affiliates , service most households and businesses across every State and Territory. The NWRIC’s 450 plus members range from small family-owned businesses to multi-billion-dollar global companies. They collectively own and operate nearly every private waste and recycling asset in Australia for collecting, recycling, processing and treating waste.