The latest federal budget didn’t have much in it for FOGO, according to one company even though $486.3 million has been earmarked in new environmental funding for oceans, biodiversity, recycling and waste, and climate resilience.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the Budget is helping secure Australia’s recovery by building on the Morrison Government’s commitment to practical on-ground environmental outcomes and long term national reform.
Recycling and waste
The Morrison Government is building on our billion dollar transformation of Australia’s recycling and waste industry with $77.9 million in new investments to reduce waste impacts on our environment, create jobs and grow the economy.
Up to $67.0 million will be invested in new food organic and garden organic waste (FOGO) initiatives, establishing a Food Waste for Healthy Soils Fund to divert 3.4 million tonnes of organic material from landfill for productive use in agricultural soils.
Ley claims the fund will generate $401 million in industry value, create up to 2,700 additional jobs and establish an important model for wider recycling and soil partnerships.
Then there is the $5.0 million in new funding that will go to supporting small- and medium-sized businesses to adopt the Australasian Recycling Label, and $5.9 million for additional investments in industry-led national product stewardship schemes to reduce waste and increase resource recovery.
One company that was hoping for more was iugis whose global chief of stakeholder relations, Jeff Olling, made it clear more should have been made available for the industry, especially in the FOGO space.
“While we welcome the government’s announcement of $480m in new funding for the environment and its commitment to upgrading our recycling capabilities to reduce waste to landfill, we are deeply concerned that incentives to reduce food waste are again overlooked in this year’s budget.,” he said.
“The problem is not going away. We’re still the fourth largest food wasters per capita in the world, wasting 7.3 million tonnes of food each year at a cost of $20 billion to the economy. Our research commissioned by YouGov last year found that two-thirds of consumers believe the federal government should be doing more to address food waste. There is a clear mandate among Australians for the government to do more to combat the issue and provide much needed initiatives to halve food waste by 2030, which is the goal of the national food waste strategy.”