Waste Reduction Minister a breath of fresh air

This week, CEO of the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR), Ms Gayle Sloan, was in Canberra to meet newly-appointed Federal Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction, the Hon. Trevor Evans MP, and he showed a deep understanding of the importance of our essential waste and resource recovery industry.

Ms Sloan’s visit came days after it was reported that the Minister was planning to unveil “ambitious” new targets related to sustainable procurement by all State governments, which WMRR has been consistently calling for over the last 18 months. On Tuesday, Ms Sloan met with Minister Evans to get an understanding of what the next steps would be.

“It became very clear early in the meeting that the Minister understands the significance creating demand and markets for recycled products has on driving our industry forward. His work in the retail industry as CEO of the National Retail Association has also given him much-needed perspective and experience in supply chain management, which bodes well for industry as he has a wealth of knowledge on the roles, responsibilities and market demands within a supply chain,” Ms Sloan said.

Minister Evans said last week that he would seek agreement on proposed procurement targets at the next Meeting of Environment Ministers, adding that the Commonwealth will offer funding support to develop Australia’s remanufacturing sector.

“WMRR welcomes the Minister’s announcements and it is pleasing to see movement on the Federal level, after years of industry advocating for Federal leadership on a number of fronts, sustainable procurement being one of them,” Ms Sloan said.

“WMRR also had the opportunity to discuss the importance of national leadership in creating a level playing field and developing a common approach to levies and industry development as Australia, despite having seven jurisdictions, is one common market. WMRR discussed the Federal government’s vital role in driving resource recovery and remanufacturing through harmonised, effective and appropriate regulatory, policy and market settings, and how doing so will create new jobs and investment in the sector.

“WMRR looks forward to our continued engagement with the Minister and all levels of government as we look forward and keep our eyes on the circular economy ball.”