WMRR calls on NSW government to add another ‘R’ to its recession recovery plan

10 November 2020

The NSW government’s plan to mandate the use of NSW steel and aluminum in new renewable power infrastructure projects built in NSW has been hailed a positive move by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR), highlighting that the plan has legs in remanufacturing as well.

This week, NSW Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean announced a $32 billion renewable energy plan, unveiling shortly after that he intends to mandate the use of NSW steel and aluminum to drive a manufacturing boom in the state.

“WMRR acknowledges the Minister’s foresight in stimulating domestic manufacturing that will lead to the growth of local economies and jobs. This week’s announcement is aligned to the federal government’s recent pledge to scale up Australian manufacturing and we applaud our governments’ commitment to providing local manufacturing opportunities and benefits to the community, particularly as we embark on a journey of post-COVID-19 recovery,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.

“Minister Kean’s announcement is a win in areas such as renewable energy and manufacturing, and WMRR believes the Minister has the opportunity to score a hat trick – with more than 650,000 tonnes of steel needed to deliver the three (3) proposed renewable energy zones across NSW, the government can and should preference the use of NSW recycled steel remanufactured in NSW for these projects.

“We have steel and aluminum remanufacturers across the state who are ready and can meet the material demands of these infrastructure projects; we’d urge the Minister to add another ‘R’ to his plan – in addition to renewable and recovery (from recession) -  that of ‘remanufacturing’ using recycled NSW metals, which would ensure true closed loop production in NSW, marrying the economic and environmental benefits under the one plan.

“It is our hope that the Minister and Treasurer will continue to support further remanufacturing in NSW, committing to more recycled material streams being prioritised in both the forthcoming state budget and in all government procurement practices,” Ms Sloan said, adding, “we know that we can create 9.2 local jobs for every 10,000 tonnes of material recycled in NSW and we also know that NSW produced almost 20 million tonnes in 2019 - if these were all recovered in NSW, we’d create 5,000 new direct jobs in the waste and resource recovery industry alone!”