The Andrews Government will create a $71.4 million funded Waste Crime Prevention Inspectorate within the Environment Protection Authority, which will work closely with WorkSafe Victoria, emergency service agencies, councils and other regulators to improve information sharing and coordination. The initiative is part of Recycling Victoria the government’s 10-year vision.
Speaking at CEDA in Melbourne yesterday, February 26 the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio explained that the strategy would tackle waste crime and keep Victorians safe, with more resources to stop illegal dumping and stockpiling, and deal with high-risk sites and high-risk substances.
“For too long, waste crime has undermined Victoria’s recycling sector with dangerous and illegal stockpiling. Our investment will help to clean up the industry and make it fairer for businesses that do the right thing,” D’Ambrosio said.
The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR), has responded positively to the initiatives.
WMRR CEO, Gayle Sloan said that she considered Victoria’s Government was again leading the way by committing significant new funds towards our essential industry to help solve the challenges that we continue to face.”
Recycling Victoria will completely overhaul Victoria’s recycling sector, create 3,900 jobs and reduce waste going to landfill.
The primary purpose of the $300 million plus package is to bring together a suite of landmark reforms, dedicated to shifting Victoria to a circular economy, including a state-wide four-bin recycling system, a container deposit scheme and nearly $100 million to support businesses, drive innovation and create local jobs.
Victoria’s landfill levy is significantly lower than our neighbouring states, meaning Victoria is too often used as a dumping ground for waste coming from New South Wales and South Australia.
The change reflects an agreement reached by state and territory Treasurers to work towards the harmonisation of landfill levies and will provide a strong incentive to reduce and recycle waste and drive innovation in new waste technologies.