June 2021

WMRR is kicking of the 2021-22 financial year with a new monthly bulletin – “WMRR Wrap Up” – which will showcase the Association’s activities, media releases, a snapshot of our CEO’s appearances in mainstream and trade media, and WMRR’s policy submissions for the month (in this iteration, we will look back on activities in June), as well as a few of our forthcoming events and conferences. You will also find WMRR CEO’s bi-monthly Inside Waste CEO column and National President’s Board communiqué in most of these bulletins. We hope you enjoy our WMRR Wrap Up.


From the CEO's desk

Industry has long advocated that waste management and resource recovery is a shared responsibility that requires the introduction of policies such as polluter-pays and extended producer responsibility (EPR) for difficult-to-recycle materials as this is the most effective way to drive circularity as well as sustainable product design. However, to date, we often remain the whipping boy, quietly receiving materials that are in fact problematic, then copping the blame and responsibility for where these materials might end up. Again this week, we have seen that problematic materials such as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS, are materials that also evoke an emotional response from community, however they continue to be placed on the market, often without consumer awareness and knowledge. Yet when they arrive in our facilities, the regulator and community can often take a very harsh view of our industry, even though we do not generate, largely because the full picture has not been adequately painted. WMRR is proposing a national framework for labelling, disposing and storing of PFAS. 

Read more

WMRR at the table

In the month of June, WMRR has been actively advocating on behalf of industry across a range of significant policy and regulatory changes to meet the diverse needs of our members.

  • National waste export ban (plastics)
    Ahead of the 1 July 2021 ban commencement, WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, has been working closely with operators, traders, and the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) on licensing rules and the licensing portal to ensure industry readiness ahead of the ban. As with any initiative of this size, there will be teething problems, but a significant amount of work continues in the background to ensure that the environmental and economic objectives of the ban are met for all jurisdictions, industry, and the community. WMRR has also assisted in delivering workshops with the industry, including an information session with traders and DAWE on how the licensing portal will work. Further information on the plastic export ban, including links to the waste plastics export list, exporting guidelines, and how to apply for a licence can be found here.
  • VIC EP Act: On 1 July 2021
    The amended VIC EP Act came into force. WMRR has been at the table from the outset, meeting with DELWP and EPA officers weekly to voice industry concerns, develop workable solutions to outstanding challenges, ensure sound transition pathways, and to inform and educate both government and industry on how to move forward effectively with these significant regulatory changes.
  • Energy from waste
    Both the Queensland and Victorian EfW working groups have been at the forefront of EfW policy development. In June, WMRR members came to the table with feedback that will inform the development of Queensland’s EfW guideline. Months-long discussions with DELWP over the state’s EfW one (1) million tonnes per annum cap have culminated in a draft framework released in June, detailing how the cap will work, including numerous recommendations made by WMRR.
  • Taskforce and advisory groups
    WMRR’s CEO continues to participate in a number of state government taskforces and advisory groups, including Green Industries SA’s single-use plastics stakeholder taskforce.

WMRR's new National President

Following a hotly contested election earlier this year, Mr Geoffrey Webster officially stepped into the role of National President of WMRR till 2023 at the 8 June 2021 AGM.

Once you’re in the waste and resource recovery industry, it gets in your blood and it seems you are destined to never leave,” says Mr Webster.

This happened to Mr Webster many years ago and it is now a passion that drives many facets of his career and business. Having sat in both consulting and operational roles through his career, performing at senior management level, Mr Webster provides the right qualities to support and lead WMRR’s continued activities in this space. WMRR is a critical element in ensuring its members succeed in a challenging environment and having been exposed to so many elements from all facets of the industry, Mr Webster has the skills to complement the rest of the Board and the management team in delivering on the needs of the WMRR Presidency.

Read more about WMRR’s Board of Directors.

WMRR extends its appreciation and gratitude to Mr Garth Lamb, who stepped down from the National President role after completing the maximum two (2) two (2)-year terms.

Mr Webster has also stepped down as Vice President of the SA Branch Committee to commence his role as WMRR National President. Following a nomination in May and an election in June, Ms Tiana Nairn, Policy Group Manager at LMS Energy has been elected as VP of the SA Branch Committee.

Policy submissions
  • Federal landfill gas (generation) method – proposed new method
  • Queensland energy from waste guideline

WMRR members may access all of the Association’s policy submissions here; members will need to login to view these documents.

Media releases

WMRR’s media releases can be found here.


In the media

Conferences and events

WMRR’s beloved Australian Landfill and Transfer Stations Conference (ALTS) was back this year, bringing together industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts in June against the sparkling backdrop of Sydney’s CBD and Darling Harbour.

Hosted at Doltone House on Pyrmont’s picturesque Darling Island, the three (3)-day event was packed with discussions on the policy, regulation and technology that are shaping the future of landfills and transfer stations in Australia, and the shifting role of this infrastructure in our essential waste and resource recovery (WARR) industry.

Read the ALTS conference wrap-up here.

Thanks to our conference sponsors - GeofabricsGlobal SyntheticsCleanawayTonkinGolderResourceCoSUEZLMS EnergyTonkin+Taylor and GHD, andour program committee:
  • Program chair – Nigel Ruxton, Golder
  • Paul Lightbody, Mockinya Consulting
  • Stuart Dever, Kimbriki Environmental Enterprises
  • Amir Shahkolahi, Global Synthetics
  • Ark Du, Veolia
  • Melissa Salt, Tonkin
  • Peter Tzelepis, Geofabrics
  • Neil Thomson, Senversa; and
  • Mike McConnell, Wastech Engineering
Forthcoming events and conferences