The NSW Government has released an Expression of Interest (EOI) for an industry partner to codevelop a funding proposal to the Federal Government for new paper/cardboard processing capacity in preparation for the 2024 export ban.
The export ban on mixed waste paper and cardboard will commence on 1 July 2024. The EOI follows the Federal Government’s announcement earlier this year that it would co-invest in recycling infrastructure with state and territory governments and industry.
According to a NSW Government statement, the infrastructure is aimed at addressing the shortfall in domestic paper and cardboard processing capacity.
“These proposals need to be for economically viable projects that best address national pressures, utilise best-practice methodology, know-how and technology, achieve value for money and maximise industry financial contributions,” the statement said.
The statement highlights that applications to the Commonwealth are due on 31 July 2020, with a decision on successful projects expected at the end of August 2020.
The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) welcomed the announcement. WMRR noted it remained encouraged by the scale of work being undertaken to ensure the nation has the necessary strategic policies and plans for recovery post-COVID-19.
“Prior to the pandemic, the Prime Minister announced a co-investment model between the Federal Government, state governments, and industry and over the last few weeks, we’ve heard that this approach remains on track,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.
“One of the things we’ve been saying to all governments is that planning for the bans must continue so that Australia can emerge out of COVID-19 with a viable and resilient sector that drives domestic processing of materials.”
Sloan added that importantly, this provides local revenue and jobs – not just during the infrastructure development phase, but also across operations throughout the lifespan of facilities and services.
“The release of this EOI is proof that the government agrees that there are opportunities in our sector – both in the domestic recovery of materials and the recovery of economies,” she said.
“WMRR is aware that a significant amount of work is going on behind the scenes and we are optimistic about further funding announcements in due course. For now, we would like to congratulate state and federal governments for working closely with our essential industry and we look forward to more good news that would both protect and bolster our environment, communities, and economies.”
Sloan said COVID-19 has reinforced the need for Australia to build a resilient domestic economy.
“The WARR industry stands ready to continue working with governments to capitalise on these opportunities and create remanufacturing jobs and investment throughout Australia. This is a sector where the well will not run dry because where there are people, there are and will be waste (resources) ready to be remanufactured back into the products they once were.”