Thursday 10 December 2015

2015 WMAA Women in the Environment Award announced

The winner of the 2015 Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) Women in the Environment Award is Janine Price, Environment Program Manager at Australian Pork Limited (APL).

The award recognises the achievements of women who have made a significant contribution to environmental sustainability in Australia in the past five years.

Janine Price has been APL?s Environment Program Manager since 2009, delivering many positive environmental milestones for Australian pig farmers. She has been responsible for the development of the National Environmental Research and Extension Strategy for the industry that has delivered a science based set of environmental guidelines for both conventional and outdoor piggeries.

She has also been involved in initiating the $8.5 million National Agricultural Manure Management Program, the development of Australia?s first Carbon Farming Initiative methodology and the Biogas Code of Practice. Her key bioenergy initiative now sees 26 per cent available pig production using biogas leading to annual savings of $5 million in electricity and 85,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, while generating $7.1 million in emissions reduction credits for Australian pig producers.

"I am truly honoured to be the recipient of this year?s award and thank WMAA and Blue Environment for their support of women working in the waste and environmental sector. It?s a really exciting and innovative area to work in and I?m looking forward to being involved in some interesting projects and opportunities coming up in the near future", said Ms Price.

The WMAA Women in the Environment Award is sponsored by Blue Environment.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Queensland landfill disposal bans a step in the right direction

The Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) today welcomed discussions facilitated by the Queensland government to consider the introduction of bans on a number of waste types from being disposed directly into landfills.

"While there are still a significant number of issues that need to be addressed in this process, this move represents a step in the right direction that should not only assist in the Queensland government achieving its recycling targets but, also move the industry closer to a nationally consistent waste management framework", said WMAA Chief Executive Officer, Martin Tolar.

"Our initial thoughts are that the government needs to be mindful of any regulatory change needing to form part of a broader reform process and not just be a standalone instrument.

"Additionally, consideration also needs to be given to the best ways in assisting the industry with meeting any new compliance obligations, as well as, resourcing an effective enforcement team to prevent those that want to ignore regulatory requirements by operating illegally."

WMAA will be working closely with its members to put forward its views to the Queensland government during the consultation period that will continue through to the end of January 2016.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

WMAA discusses key state issues with WA Environment Minister and DER Director General

Martin Tolar, CEO of the Waste Management Association of Australia and Rebecca Brown, WMAA WA Branch President have held meetings with the Western Australian Environment Minister Albert Jacob MLA, and Jason Banks, Director General Department of Environment Regulation (DER), to discuss a range of issues affecting the WA waste and resource recovery industry.

The Minister met with WMAA prior to the tabling of the WARR Act Review report in Parliament that afternoon. 

"WMAA is pleased to hear that there are no surprises for our industry in the report. The Association prepared a submission to the review earlier this year and the Branch Committee will now await the delivery of the report into the public arena in order to assess the 'wins' for our members."

The Minister expressed interest in the development of a national end of waste standard. This builds on his recent announcement of a $10m incentive scheme to increase local government use of recycled construction and demolition material in the building of roads, car parks and drains.

DER Director General Jason Banks reaffirmed the important role of WMAA in facilitating industry engagement on regulatory reform and other issues, and acknowledged the need for a stronger connection between waste and infrastructure planning.

"WMAA is positioning waste as an essential service in all state infrastructure planning. The DER seat on the WA Planning Commission, through Mr Banks, provides our industry with the necessary avenue to ensure this is a fundamental feature of planning in WA."

Wednesday 14 October 2015

WMAA CEO puts carbon, infrastructure, and interstate waste transport on the agenda in Canberra talks

Martin Tolar, CEO of the Waste Management Association of Australia, has held separate meetings with Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, and senior staff from the office of the new Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, Jamie Briggs.

A range of issues was discussed with the Environment Minister, including carbon policy, interstate transport of waste, and industry data.  

"I was pleased Minister Hunt was able to confirm that there will be no changes to carbon policy, thus providing regulatory certainty to our industry going forward. The Minister is aware of our concern over the interstate transport of waste and the adverse impact this has on the environment, infrastructure, and state economies. The disparity in landfill levies and fees between states has contributed to this, and we are looking for national leadership on this matter."

Meeting with a Senior Adviser from the office of the Cities and the Built Environment, CEO Martin Tolar pressed the importance of waste infrastructure planning to support urban growth and achieve better environmental outcomes.  

"WMAA welcomes the recent announcement by Minister Briggs of a Cities Taskforce to advise on policy affecting city development. I have advised his office that WMAA is ideally positioned to provide the waste infrastructure perspective to this important group."

The government plans to release a discussion paper later this year.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Badgerys Creek announcement is a wasted opportunity

The Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) is calling on the NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes to give a higher priority to the waste management infrastructure that will be required to service the businesses and residents that occupy the newly announced Western Sydney Priority Growth Area.

WMAA Chief Executive Officer Martin Tolar said ?It is essential that waste management becomes an upfront consideration when governments and councils in NSW embark upon new planning initiatives.

While we welcome the announcement by the Minister to progress the development of the Badgerys Creek precinct, WMAA believes that the management of waste that will be generated by this significant development precinct should be recognised as an essential consideration in the infrastructure planning that will be required to support the region as it develops.

Too often the management of waste from new developments is given little consideration when the critical initial planning decisions are made. This leads to problems that over time add to the cost of waste and recovery management services. These costs are then ultimately borne by residents and business.

WMAA believes that the Badgerys Creek announcement provides the NSW government with the perfect opportunity to give the waste management industry a seat at the planning table to produce a world class solution to waste and resource recovery for this new Western Sydney community.?

WMAA will be seeking a meeting with the Minister in coming days.