Victorian Budget a good step

Victoria’s announcement that it will inject $35 million to assist with fixing the State’s waste and resource recovery issues has been welcomed by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR), the national peak body for all stakeholders in the essential waste and resource recovery industry.

It’s been more than 18 months since China implemented its National Sword policy and its impacts, along with other ongoing challenges, have brought to the fore the need to build and grow domestic remanufacturing.

“This week’s $35 million announcement is on top of the almost $37 million Victoria provided to industry in 2018 in the wake of China. Victoria has certainly led the way in its financial commitment to assisting our essential industry in developing markets and supporting the transition to a circular economy,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan said.

“This Budget commitment is a good step towards managing some of the ongoing challenges in Victoria. Importantly, a significant amount of these funds is targeted at industry development to grow remanufacturing capacity for materials, including plastic in Victoria. We know that for every 10,000 tonnes of product recycled we create 9.2 jobs, so this is good news for Victoria.”

A sustainable remanufacturing base will take time to develop and its success depends on robust government regulation and policy that support market development and demand for recycled material, which will go a long way in providing industry with certainty to continue investing in the sector.

With the recent appointment of two Federal Ministers in the Environment portfolio, including for the first time an Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction, WMRR is hopeful that Australia will finally have the much-needed national coordination and leadership it requires to grow its domestic remanufacturing sector and develop a consistent policy approach similar to the European Union, which has had proven success in building a circular economy, and with that, millions of jobs and billions of Euros in value-add to the economy.

“It is an exciting time for the industry and WMRR looks forward to continuing its positive collaboration with the Victorian Government as it fixes and builds its essential waste and resource recovery industry to create a circular economy and build a local remanufacturing industry. We will continue to work closely with Victoria’s leaders to provide feedback and input on the projects, policies, and investment priorities that will drive the sector forward,” Ms Sloan said.