The Board met on Wednesday, 8 May at the Australian Museum in Sydney ahead of the 2019 AGM. The AGM always presents a range of procedural matters to tick off, but also an opportunity to reflect on the past year - where we started, what we did, and where we ended up. It's been a massive 12 months for the association, with a new name, and a new level of influence in the public and political discourse. The challenge is still to move from talk to action... But at least the conversations are well underway.
A key area of Board discussion was the election policy scorecard. The first point is to acknowledge that our sector is finally getting sufficient attention to actually warrant the major parties thinking about us, so that we have something to discuss and rate. WMRR has played a leading role in bringing the opportunities of our sector to the attention of all levels of government, and it is a significant shift to now see federal interest in what we do, and what we can all do better.
In terms of scoring the relative approaches, WMRR looked at the stated commitments of each major party. There were some significant differences but, again, the fact that each party HAD specific policy and commitments to review is unique and positive for our sector.
While the Government’s pre-election commitments were not rated as strongly as the commitments from those seeking to form an alternate government, there is a commitment to a new focus on waste and recycling and new money to help overcome some of the barriers in the transition toward a circular economy. In short, the commitment from the LNP was to do more in this space - it's a very welcome commitment, and one we will watch unfold in the coming months.
It is now apparent that Scott Morrison’s LNP has been returned to power. Much has been written about Prime Minister Morrison’s new mandate and expected ability to charter a strong course for the country. WMRR looks forward to working with the new government in a positive and proactive manner, to advance the interests of our essential sector.
In terms of procedural matters, the WMRR audited accounts show the organisation has maintained a balanced budget, even with a strong focus on providing better value for members through increased representation and via free events in each jurisdiction. WMRR has never been busier and the ongoing support of members and those who attend and sponsor events provides the resources to do what needs to be done. We have a busy agenda ahead and rely on the continuing support from the members to achieve the outcomes we all want to see.
Garth Lamb was reappointed for another two-year term as President and told those gathered at the AGM that it is his honour to continue to represent them. The updated constitution was adopted, with various tidy-ups to ensure the ongoing governance of the association.