Board communiqué

The Board of Directors met on Tuesday, 7 June 2022, ahead of WMRR’s 2022 Annual General Meeting. At this Board meeting, directors heard from the Audit and Risk Committee, which met earlier in June to review WMRR’s financial position for the 2021 year.

2021 was a year on repeat, where the WARR sector once again faced unprecedented challenges as Australia and the rest of the world started opening up and facing the possibility of living with COVID-19 indefinitely. With this brought numerous supply chain issues, labour shortages, and inflationary pressures alongside a host of regulatory reforms for the sector, such as the commencement of the waste export bans. Then came the floods. All in all, 2021 made delivering WARR services all the more demanding.

Despite the challenges, our sector persevered and not only did we persevere, we excelled, improving our offerings and capabilities, and driving even greater value for our key stakeholders. On the WMRR front, this resilience was showcased by many achievements, including the return of our national conferences, kicking off with the biennial Australian Landfill and Transfer Stations Conference in March, followed by the 2021 WARRQ Conference. WMRR was also able to add a second Tasmanian forum in 2021, following a sell-out first event early in the year. Although conference registrations were still reduced due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in 2021, total conference income was $314,417, a significant increase from 2020 by $109,622.

2021 will go down in WMRR’s history books as the highest membership year for the association. Income from memberships YTD was $635,525, up from the previous year by $68,843 (+10.8%) and pleasingly, we continue to see a growing diversity in the companies that come into WMRR’s fold. This is testament to work that WMRR and its members do, from our state branch committees to our national divisions, and our state working groups.

Although WMRR reported a net loss for 2021, it was noted that the association did not receive any COVID-19 relief in 2021, compared with $194,200 in 2020, which no doubt greatly assisted in operating WMRR that year. Looking at the year ahead, it was clear to the Board that WMRR’s schedule of activities – advocacy, events and conferences, communications, and more meant WMRR remains on solid footing and we are optimistic that the association will grow from strength to strength and return to black.

2022 is also a year of renewal – not just for our federal and several state governments – but here at WMRR, with a new directors joining the Board at the AGM.

In April, WMRR put out a call for nominations for both nominated and elected director positions, including the role of vice president of WMRR, as part of a Board renewal process in 2022. 

Directors who have served their full two (2), two (2)-year terms were ineligible to nominate, these being Georgina Davis, Kim Glassborow, Mike Ritchie, and Tim Youe. WMRR thanks these directors for their commitment to the association and industry. 

Nominations closed on 29 April 2022 and WMRR’s nomination committee then assessed the applications for the nominated skilled director, appointing WMRR’s 2022 nominated directors Isabel Axio, Senior Consultant at RMCG and Geraldine Busby, Principal Waste Consultant at Encycle. The committee also appointed re-nominating directors Christine Wardle and Toby Terlet. As we received (1) nomination for the elected vice president role, no election was called for this position and Mark Rawson remains WMRR’s vice president. 

WMRR also received more than one (1) nomination for the elected director position, and a vote was called on 19 May 2022 as per our constitution. Voting closed on 31 May 2022, with members electing Justin Bonsey, Strategic Lead – Resource Recovery, Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) as their 2022-24 elected director.

On behalf of WMRR, I’d like to thank all members for their enthusiasm and engagement in nominating and voting for your elected director and welcome both new and returning Board directors.

There remains much work to be done at WMRR as we continue to actively advocate for the betterment of our industry and create greater value for all of our members. The next stage of WMRR’s strategic business plan is well underway, with state branch committee presidents returning to the second planning session armed with their state priorities for the next three (3) years. WMRR will then finalise its three (3)-year plan, which will be adopted by the Board and launched to the membership.

With a new federal government that has its eye firmly on protecting the environment and addressing climate change, a Board with diverse skills and experience, and an engaged and supportive membership base, WMRR’s future looks bright and I look forward to all we can and will bring to the table for our essential industry.