And just like that, we’ve now come to the end of 2021, and what a year it’s been. The WMRR Board met for the last time this year on 2 December 2021 and directors reflected on WMRR’s activities and achievements for the year, while looking towards 2022 and what we hope to offer our members.
Ahead of the Board meeting, the Audit and Risk Committee gathered to review WMRR’s 2022 draft budget. Included in the report was the 3% increase to membership fees to reflect increases in CPI, which had been approved by the Board at the last meeting. An exciting thing to look forward to in 2022 is the proposed roll-out of on-the-ground training modules for industry, as part of an overarching training and accreditation program that WMRR has been developing, albeit delayed due to COVID-19. The Board is optimistic about the industry, given the continued focus of, and engagement with, state and federal governments, and there is no doubt that training and accreditation will add value to our essential industry by driving professionalism as well as increased knowledge.
WMRR also has a full calendar of events and conferences lined up for 2022, including three (3) conferences - Energy from Waste, ENVIRO and WARR SA, as well as numerous state-based events. WMRR’s highly attended webinars that cover both technical and educational topics, will remain a permanent fixture in our calendar and the value of members’ input into topic development, as evidenced in our national waste educators webinar series, was highlighted as a significant contribution to the association.
2021 was another challenging year for the industry, as COVID-19 remained on the scene and continued restrictions had a financial impact on WMRR; however, the association remains in a stable financial position with a modest profit forecasted for 2022. Despite the challenges, WMRR, with the support of its members, forged ahead and the Board is pleased to hear that membership renewals were the highest in the association’s history and we continued to welcome members from a diverse range of organisations throughout the year. WMRR has opened its annual survey and I’d encourage you to provide constructive feedback to help the association continue to go from strength to strength. To complete the survey, click here.
As highlighted in my last communiqué, the WMRR Board and state branch presidents will convene at the end of Q1 of 2022 for a strategy session to develop WMRR’s five (5)-year business plan. Ahead of this, the Board reviewed the association’s 2021 achievements, aligned to the objectives and actions within the current 2017-2021 business plan. It was noted that WMRR’s principles and objectives appear to remain on track and the strategy day will provide leaders with an opportunity to consider what WMRR’s priorities should be for the next five (5) years and how we can continue to provide value to both our members and industry, in order to continue to lift the bar.
2022 will be another exciting year, as industry rolls out the programs and infrastructure that were backed by significant state and federal government funding over the last 12 months. The phase two (2) plastics export ban will also kick off from 1 July 2022, joining the existing three (3) bans. States and territories around Australia are pressing on in areas such as single-use plastics and FOGO, alongside almost all jurisdictions having rolled out (or are rolling out) container deposit/refund schemes and having developed energy from waste policies. WMRR will have its work cut out for it as it continues to advocate for national consistency in these and other areas, work with governments and advocate on behalf of industry on the policy and regulatory front, and continues to be the go-to for one and all in the WARR sector as we move upwards and onwards.
On behalf of the WMRR Board, have a wonderful Christmas and New Year with family and friends. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2022.