The Coalition, which promised $203 million to the waste and recycling sector, has been re-elected with a likely majority.
While votes are still being counted, the Coalition currently holds 75 of the 76 seats needed to win government – with ABC election analyst Antony Green predicting a final result of 77 seats.
The lead up to the 18 May election saw significant waste and recycling policy promises from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“We will increase Australia’s recycling rates, tackle plastic waste and litter, accelerate work on new recycling schemes and continue action to halve food waste by 2030,” Mr Morrison said earlier in May.
While Melissa Price has been re-elected to the seat of Durack Western Australia, it is unclear whether she will return as Environment Minister.
The Coalition’s campaign promises include:
— $100 million to develop the Australian Recycling Investment Fund to support the manufacturing of lower emissions and energy-efficient recycled content products including recycled content plastics, paper and pulp.
— $20 million for a new Product Stewardship Investment Fund to accelerate work on new industry-led recycling schemes for batteries, electrical and electronic products, photovoltaic systems and plastic oil containers.
— $20 million to find new and innovative solutions to plastic recycling and waste through the Cooperative Research Centres Projects grants program.
— $16 million to support the Pacific Ocean Litter Project, working with neighbours in the Pacific to reduce plastics and other waste in the ocean.
— Up to $5.8 million for a range of initiatives through the Environment Restoration Fund to support Clean Up Australia, Keep Australia Beautiful, the Australian Council of Recycling, Planet Ark, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation and OzHarvest.
— Up to $5 million through the Environment Restoration Fund for Conservation Volunteers Australia to coordinate community campaigns to clean up plastic waste in beaches and rivers.
— Continuing to work with state, territory and local governments on opportunities to get more recycled content into road construction – building on the funding provided to the Australian Road Research Board in the 2019-Budget.
The industry will now have to wait and see if the Coalition’s promises are put into action.