Victorian industry funding a strong step forward
25 February 2020
Today’s announcement by the Victorian Government that it will overhaul its recycling system has been welcomed by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR), the national peak body for all stakeholders in the essential waste and resource recovery industry.
“Victoria’s Government again leads the way by committing significant new funds towards our essential industry to help solve the challenges that we continue to face,’ WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan said. “WMRR is pleased that the Victorian Government has flagged infrastructure investment as part of this package. This will be key to driving success as we work with government to continue to grow markets domestically for these valuable resources.”
“The almost $100 million announced by the Andrews’ Government has recognized the diversity and importance of our essential industry, and includes providing funding to multiple sectors including hazardous material and for alternative infrastructure such as Energy from Waste.”
“By committing funding the Victorian Government gives industry confidence that they are at the table with us, working with us to solve these challenges,” said Ms Sloan. “Our essential industry alone cannot solve these recent challenges, it is a shared responsibility that requires all parts of the supply chain including government and the community to work together to solve”.
Victoria produces over 14 million tonnes each year of waste, if managed well and viewed as resources that can input into remanufacturing, Victoria has a fantastic opportunity to transition its remanufacturing industry and create new jobs.
WMRR acknowledges that a sustainable remanufacturing base will take time to develop in Victoria, and its success depends on robust government regulation and policy that support market development and community and business demand for recycled material, which will go a long way in providing industry with certainty to invest. WMRR will continue to work closely with Victoria’s leaders to provide feedback and input on the projects, policies, and investment priorities that will drive the sector forward.
“Market development and remanufacturing demand cannot however be achieved by one state alone,” said Ms Sloan, “as we head towards the COAG meeting next month and impending export bans, it is vital that there be national action on creating markets and demand for recycled products, this includes emphasis on design, a mandated product stewardship scheme for packaging, and national specifications.”
“Victoria has taken the lead in investing in industry, however we are at a cross roads nationally - do we head down the path that creates jobs, builds an Australian remanufacturing sector and reduces carbon emissions, or do we continue to act as if business as usual and a big stick will get us there?”
“2020 could be an exciting time for our essential industry if all jurisdictions take the lead that Victoria has, and commit new and real monies to infrastructure, research, technology and markets. Let’s hope this happens and our essential industry gets the chance to create an onshore manufacturing industry and real jobs!”.