The WMRR Board met ahead of the end of year Victorian Branch dinner for the final time in 2023 on 7 December, capping off what has been another successful year for the Association.

Reflecting on the past twelve months, the Board noted the increasing number of people (both Members and non-Members) attending events, the Association’s strong financial position and the positive feedback from Members.

The Board noted Members were reporting WMRR events to be of great relevance to the waste and resource recovery (WARR) industry, especially the webinars which have proven to be particularly popular and maintained interest even post-Covid. The Board was keen to see these continue in 2024 and the CEO confirmed this would be case. Over 2,100 people participated in WMRR events in 2023. Next year’s event calendar will be published shortly and will include a new Recycling and Resource Recovery conference in Adelaide in October 2024.  

The Board approved the proposed budget for 2024 including a below inflation increase to membership fees of 4%. The renewal process for next year is already underway, with emails for individual members going out in the first week of December. 

It was resolved the Nominations Committee would meet early next year to discuss the board composition with several Members retiring in 2024 due to term limits, so stay tuned for impending application processes. 

It was also resolved the Board would hold a strategic planning meeting in February to review the current WMRR Strategic Plan 2023-2026 and identify and fund priority projects for 2024. The Board expressed a desire for a WMRR knowledge hub and an expanded training offering for Members. Work on the knowledge hub is underway as part of an upgrade to the WMRR website. 

On policy matters, the Board was updated on the export regulations. It was agreed the 5% contamination limit for paper and cardboard starting from 1 July 2026 was a sensible outcome. More work is required to allow exporters to be able to sell worldwide including needing some changes to the purchaser requirements. 

In relation to battery safety, this continues to be one of the biggest issues facing the industry. The Environment Ministers Meeting in November agreed the Queensland Government would be the lead jurisdiction for a national approach. An initial meeting is set down for 18 January 2024. Meanwhile, WMRR has continued to push for reform and raise awareness through a mainstream and social media campaign. 

As this was the meeting for the year, the President thanked his board colleagues and WMRR staff for their work and efforts throughout 2023, as well as the Members for their input and collaboration through various forums including Working Groups and events. 

The Board wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and looks forward to an ever bigger and better 2024 for WMRR and WARR.