Board communiqué- getting ready for 2023
The Board met on Monday, 7 November 2022, ahead of WMRR’s biennial WARR SA Conference for the fifth Boarding meeting of the year. One of the most significant outcomes of the meeting was the finalisation and approval of WMRR’s three (3)-year strategic plan. As you may be aware this was a highly collaborative piece of work developed by state branches and the Board this year, with branch committee members providing input on the initiatives and tangible projects that they would like to drive and progress over the next three (3) years in their states. The Board agreed that the process undertaken had been both fruitful and productive, with invaluable input provided by all involved.
Befitting the national peak body, the strategic plan continues to focus on regulatory certainty and ensuring a level playing field, whilst creating demand and markets for secondary raw materials, and driving infrastructure investment. And just like industry, the 2023 strategic plan has evolved to reflect the need to mitigate carbon and transition away from a linear to a circular economy, with the real ability to create green jobs and build Australia’s resilience.
Recognizing that WMRR represents a broad range of stakeholders, the Board is pleased that the strategy clearly articulates where WMRR wants to be and how they will continue leading engagement of the sector.
The Board would like to thank all members for their contribution to date and looks forward to y working with you all over the next three (3) years to deliver these important projects and policy positions ensuring our industry achieves the success that it should!
In preparation for 2023 the Board also approved at the November meeting, a 4% increase to membership fees, so please watch out for membership renewal advice that will be coming out shortly. Also do not hesitate to contact the office if you have any queries when they arrive at [email protected] or (02) 8746 5000.
The Board also discussed how far away Australia is in reality, from achieving the 2030 target of 80% recovery, given that we need an additional two (2) million tonnes in infrastructure capacity to come online every year if we have any chance of meeting this target. What this means is we need two (2) million tonnes of additional demand each year for recycled product. We are a very long way away from this number with so many departments and agencies continuing to elect to do studies and trials of secondary raw material products, rather than driving real demand stimulus we need.
Unfortunately, this conversation was occurring as the public was being advised that Redcyle, which handles less than 10,000 tonnes of material each year, was unable to find markets for its recovered products, with less than three (3) companies now accepting the feedstock for remanufacturing and these companies struggling to find buyers.
The Board was very clear and determined - we need to move the paradigm in Australia rapidly towards the demand side of the supply chain and stop focusing simply on collection. We can no longer say collect it and the investment will come - we have seen way too often this is not the case, and as an industry we cannot take a cavalier approach to stockpiling in the hope there is change.
It really is time to shine the spotlight on demand and product stewardship of materials if we are genuine in moving from 60 - 80%, collection systems alone are just not going to get us there!
In other news, across Australia, activity in the WARR industry remains high, with WA, NSW, Queensland and the ACT progressing their respective bans on single use plastic. The scope of container deposit and refund schemes have or are soon to be reviewed in NSW, SA, ACT, WA and Queensland, with Victoria and Tasmania rolling theirs out in 2023. The Board has one more meeting scheduled for 2022 with no plans to slow down.
Hopefully you have had a chance to attend one of the great WMRR events we have had in the last month in Tasmania, FNQ, WA, SA and NSW, with Victoria and the last Board meeting later this week. I am also attaching the member survey for 2022 to gain your feedback on how we have done this year, what you would like to see more of, less of, etc in order that WMRR can continue to drive improvement and success for the betterment of our essential industry. Thanks for taking the time to complete it!