The Victorian government has announced it will put $35 million towards improving the state’s waste and resource recovery issues brought about by China’s National Sword Policy.
The funding commitment announced on May 27 comes in addition to the almost $37m the state government provided to the waste industry last year in the wake of the China ban. It will be used to help build and grow onshore processing and remanufacturing of waste in Australia.
“Last year, we took a positive plan to the people of Victoria. With this year’s Budget, we’re delivering on that plan, and delivering on our promises,” said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
“With this budget, we’re keeping on our promises and delivering for all Victorians.”
The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) has welcomed the Victorian government’s funding commitment, which WMRR CEO, Gayle Sloan, said showed that the government was leading the way in its financial commitment to assisting the industry in developing markets and supporting the transition to a circular economy.
“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,” Sloan said.
According to WMRR, 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 the very first 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 EU, which has had proven success in building a circular economy.
“It’s 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,” Sloan added.
“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.”