May 2019

From the CEO

China’s National Sword, which will no doubt secure a spot in the Macquarie Dictionary, has brought to the fore the need for a strong domestic processing and remanufacturing industry.

But 18 months on, we’re still short on 1.2 million tonnes of remanufacturing capacity and the question remains: what will it take for the Federal Government to step up to the task it’s been elected to do (lead) and steer the country out of a waste management and resource recovery challenge that has all the makings of an economic and environmental opportunity?

Australia could wake up to a new Government on Monday and WMRR has been advocating for politicians to stop hitting the snooze button and get on with the job. As a start, WMRR’s five-point plan needs to be actioned now.

Read the CEO's full April/May 2019 report here.

Download WMRR’s five-point action plan here.

History in the making

While real action out of the Federal Government has been lacking, for the first time in Australian election history, the waste management and resource recovery industry finally has a place on the national agenda.

The major parties have waste and resource recovery policies, which is an encouraging step in the right direction and WMRR is looking forward to working with the elected Government to build a strong and sustainable waste and resource recovery sector, including a remanufacturing industry.

But just as no one party is equal or alike, neither are their policies. WMRR has put the ALP and LNP policies under a microscope, comparing them against each other and, importantly, against our five-point plan that the association has consistently advocated for.

Download the updated scorecard here. 

Importantly, it is time for real, tangible action from our leaders. Industry wants to continue investing in new technology and facilities and are willing to collaborate with all stakeholders to drive waste and resource recovery forward. The next important step is to create value and develop markets.

Read more here.

2018 – a year that will be remembered

It’s been a big year for the industry, and an equally significant one for WMRR. Not only has the Association evolved its name to better represent the breadth and depth of what our members do, we’ve also welcomed the biggest players in our industry back into the WMRR network.

WMRR has spent the last 12 months advocating for our broad church of members and has made headway in numerous areas, while continuing to work on the challenges that continue to stand in the way of progress. Elbow deep in the trenches, our State Branches and Working Groups – the backbone of WMRR – have engaged members across jurisdictions, hosting workshops and event, and brainstormed on submissions and policies to ensure that our voice is heard. Collaboration and innovation continue within and beyond the sector.

The year’s highlights have been captured in WMRR’s 2018 annual report and Annual Audited Financial Report, which along with the 2019 Constitution, adopted at the 8 May AGM, can be found in the members’ portal.

Championing the Women of Waste
WMRR’s well-attended Women of Waste leadership breakfast series kicked off on 1 May, with Victoria leading the charge with four high profile and inspirational gladiators of industry – Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, EPA Victoria CEO Dr Cathy Wilkinson, Paintback CEO Karen Gomez, and City of Melbourne Principle Waste and Amenity Kirstin Coote.

Close to 100 delegates descended on the Melbourne Museum bright and early to hear from the women who are driving change in industry, and in doing so, are breaking down barriers and creating career prospects for the next generation in a complex industry.

SA will host the next breakfast on 22 May, followed by QLD on 24 July, and NSW on 23 October. Book your seats here.

L-R: Kirstin Cooke, Gayle Sloan, Karen Gomez, Dr Cathy Wilkinson.


2019 submissions


  • Carbon Farming Initiative - Landfill gas) Methodology Determination Variation 2019 (26 April 2019)
  • ISO/DIS 2309-2 Sharps injury protection - requirements and test methods - Part 2: Reusable sharps containers (24 April 2019)
  • WMRR's national five-point plan (11 April 2019)
  • Aged Standards Review AS 4123 Series Part 1-5 (22 March 2019)
  • Final draft government review of the 2019 IPCC Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories (18 March 2019)

View WMRR's national submissions here.


  • Standards for managing construction waste in NSW (8 May 2019)
  • Recovered fines alternative daily cover specifications (11 April 2019)

View WMRR's NSW submissions here. 

Media releases 

Media coverage

22 May 2019 - Women of Waste Leadership Breakfast SA (Adelaide)

This event is designed to recognise women who are driving change in industry, and in doing so, are breaking down barriers and are creating new career prospects for the next generation. Guest speakers: Tiana Nairn, Waste Reform Policy Manager – EPA SA, Dr Anne Sharpe, Associate Professor – University of South Australia, Dr Melissa Salt, Principal Scientist – Tonkin Consulting.

5 June 2019 – EPA Victoria 2019 and beyond (Melbourne)
This workshop will discuss EPA Victoria's strategic plan, including changes to the EPA Act and the practical impacts on industry. See presentations from EPA Victoria CEO, Dr Cathy Wilkinson, and Elisa De Wit, Partner and environment and planning lawyer from Norton Rose Fulbright. The workshop will be followed by networking drinks.

24 July 2019 – Women of Waste Leadership Breakfast QLD (Brisbane)

Registrations are open for the Sydney installation of WMRR’s popular Women of Waste leadership breakfast. Further details to follow.

26-28 August 2019 – 2019 Energy from Waste Conference (Canberra)
Under the theme 'Powering Change', this leading industry conference will bring together international and local experts to discuss and debate all aspects of Energy from Waste (EfW), with the goal of understanding what the barriers to acceptance are and how we can ensure that EfW can be established in Australia while supporting an emerging Circular Economy. 

15-17 October 2019 - WasteQ (Toowoomba)
Save the date! Planning for WasteQ, which will be held in Toowoomba, has commenced. Further details to follow. 

23 October 2019 – Women of Waste Leadership Breakfast NSW (Sydney)
Registrations are open for the Sydney installation of WMRR’s popular Women of Waste leadership breakfast. Further details to follow.