Maroon – the colour of progress?

22 March 2019

For decades, we’ve been pitting the Blues against the Maroons (or vice versa – it all depends on which side of the border you call home). When it comes to waste and resource recovery, the Maroons could soon have the leg up for a long time coming.

In February, the Queensland Government released a new waste management and resource recovery strategy, and unlike previous policies, this new plan is not toothless as it will be partly funded by the long-awaited 1 July 2019 waste levy. Most importantly, it is hoped that the days of Queensland being NSW’s dumping ground will soon come to an end given the incentive to transport waste interstate will diminish considerably.

There is no denying that Queensland will have to play catch-up, but the good news is that it has the benefit of hindsight and can learn fundamental lessons from its neighbours on the eastern seaboard.

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) congratulates the Queensland Government for showing a level of awareness that the levy is not a silver bullet but instead, is putting in the hard yards to take to task the waste and resource recovery challenges that Queensland, like the rest of Australia is facing, and committing to developing a circular economy.

“The Queensland Government certainly does not have its blinkers on and is asking the right questions. It is pleasing to see that the Department of Environment and Science is thinking about how to stimulate investment to build the economic opportunity that our essential waste management and resource recovery industry offers,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.

“The Government’s decisions to date are a sign of things to come, including the potential growth of the State’s resource recovery and remanufacturing industries, which signals more jobs, less reliance on export markets, and a boost to the local economy.”

Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP, will be sharing the Government’s vision for the State’s waste and resource recovery industry at the 2019 Australian Landfill and Transfer Stations Conference on 27 March 2019 and WMRR expects no less than a future full of opportunities for industry, community and the environment.

“Queensland can outshine the rest of Australia because the State has a Minister who has an acute understanding of what needs to be done to build and sustain an integrated and efficient waste and resource recovery system, which undoubtedly includes the consideration and maintenance of well-managed landfills and transfer stations,” Ms Sloan said.

“The Queensland Government has gotten the memo – it is focusing on market development and infrastructure planning, which are sorely missing in NSW. Queensland has also committed to reinvesting 70% of levy funds in industry, the environment and local government, going above and beyond the other States. Importantly, we are seeing plans for a whole-of-government approach, which WMRR has been harping on for years because waste and resource recovery is an essential industry and it is a shared responsibility.”

Minister Enoch will be giving the opening address at 8a.m. on day one (27 March) of the 2019 Australian Landfill and Transfer Stations Conference, which will be held at Pullman Mercure in Brisbane.