Opinion

Wasted Space: Is it that hard to be on the same page?

Evening Sir,. This land offers dichotomies for the ages. It doesn’t know what it’s doing – fire, flood, hot, cold, plagues of locusts, infestations of mice. It’s enough to test the mettle of even the most hardened Double-0 – I’d rather have Scaramanga, Blofeld or Drax to deal with any day of the week than the topsy turvy spell of weather we’ve had over the past two years, and its associated disruptions.

As any good member of our service knows, a good foundation is to be had spending our formative years in the boy Scouts. The merit badges, jamborees, obstacle courses, and helping others to help themselves. And let’s not forget sitting around the campfire singing Kumbaya. Great moments indeed.

So where is this verbal outpouring of reminiscing about inclement weather patterns and rodent invasions and the halcyon days of rubbing two sticks together to garner campfire joviality, leading you may ask? The former acknowledges how the ravages of inconsistency can lead to an unbalance in nature, while the latter seeks to bring stability to those around you.

I know it is a long-winded metaphor, but my point is this; the former is what I am seeing in the waste industry at the moment, through no fault of those at the coalface. Almost anybody who has anything to do with the sector would love it to have the consistency of a good spotted dick at the Elephant and Castle at Kensington – outer crunch with some smooth custard.

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Harmonisation, sir, that is what they want. And they’re not getting it. Whether it be with landfill levies, FOGO bins, or kerbside collections, the cities, towns and states are all over the place. ‘Each jurisdiction to its own’, I hear you say. Well, sure. But how hard is it to get on the same page with something as simple as, say, landfill levies? If you speak to the various councils, state agencies, state governments and even the blessed Federal lawmakers, they all want to be at one – like Akela strumming the guitar around the bonfire. But the devil is in the details. Or maybe it’s egos? I’m unsure. All I know is industry is hitting its collective head against a brick wall.

What to do, what to do, eh? That Evans man is a good chap – well-liked by the industry, as is his counterpart in the opposition, Wilson. They keep each other honest. However, there is only a certain amount they can do – bit like trying to get Q to explain all those gadgets in precise, clear English.

And if the governments don’t come to the party, then what? Looks like industry might just have to do it on its own. Anyway, here’s hoping El Nina, El Nino – why not throw in the Pinta and Santa Maria for good measure – or whatever quirk of nature is bearing down on Terra Australis, heads off into the sunset so things around here can return to normal – hot summers, mid-afternoon thunder storms, mosquitoes, flies the size of a Harrier Jump Jet, and Prime Ministers lasting longer than two years in the job. Not much to ask for, eh, Sir?

Regards

JB

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