WMAA Board Communiqué - December 2018

The WMAA Board met in Melbourne on 12 December, ahead of the Victorian end-of-year celebration. The lack of outcomes from the December Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM) led the discussion; while it’s great to see waste and recycling dominating the Ministers’ agenda, it’s well past time we stopped talking about all the things that need to be improved, and actually get on with the job of making it happen.

WMAA has been deeply engaged in conversations with each of the jurisdictions and we will continue to provide positive input to help inform state and federal processes. But patience around the lack of tangible actions is wearing thin, and the prospect of public-facing advertising campaigns was discussed. While this won’t be put into immediate action, the peak body for our sector will not be shy about elevating the conversation to a broader public platform. We believe the general public strongly supports strong action to improve waste and recycling performance, and we have seen other peak bodies use mass-media campaigns to great effect. Is it time for our Association to follow suit?

One of the highlights of the Victorian end-of-year event is the annual Women of Environment award, sponsored by Blue Environment. This year, the award was won by Helen Lewis, an absolute stalwart of the sector, who over many years has been a leading voice around product stewardship and packaging issues. A very worthy winner of a very important award, with strong competition from the many women who are helping lead our sector and our society toward better outcomes!

Across the various end-of-year events, and the final meeting of the National Board, the clear theme was “what a year”. Will we look back on 2018 as the point in time when the transformation of our sector really picked up pace and the ‘circular economy’ moved from a conceptual theory into something we actually deliver for the Australian community?

WMAA’s closing off 2018 with optimism, and will be rolling into 2019 with a new name and new brand, ready for a new level of community engagement and participation. We know the festive season is an incredibly busy time for many of our members; we hope that everyone stays safe, and we look forward to representing you in whatever is to come in 2019!