NT Industry Summit to address local market opportunities

The Territory Waste and Recycling Industry Summit, held 1-2 April in Darwin, will provide an opportunity to discuss strategic developments in the Northern Territory’s resource recovery sector.

According to Waste Recycling Industry Association Northern Territory (WRINT) CEO Rick Ralph, the waste management and secondary resources industry, representing both private and local government operations, currently provides more than 1360 jobs for Territorians and turns over more than $152 million annually.

In 2017-18, the industry managed more than 517,800 tonnes of waste and recyclables, Mr Ralph said, ensuring more than one third of those materials escaped landfill.

“On March 13, COAG will meet to discuss how Australia will manage the proposed bans on the exports of glass, tyres, plastics plus paper and cardboard. The Darwin summit provides industry, local government and territory agencies with the opportunity to discuss the COAG meeting outcomes looking to the future,” Mr Ralph said.

The territories future recycling and diversion rates, Mr Ralph said, are directly linked to both the broader Australian secondary market reuse and new local market opportunities.

“The international challenges facing export markets compound this problem, and we need new local solutions and ideas to sustain and grow the industry,” he said.

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Michael Gunner will lead the summit, with a presentation on insights gained from a GHD analysis into commercial market opportunities.

“We will identify new opportunities for the territory to maintain its recycling systems and enhance landfill diversion, ensuring the waste and recycling industry remains a vibrant contributor to the economy, while supporting ongoing territory jobs,” Mr Gunner said.

According to Mr Gunner, in January, his government engaged consultants GDH to undertake an assessment of future commercial waste industry opportunities that could be developed locally.

“The summit will discuss that business assessment with our top priority being jobs. It will focus on potential new business solutions, as well as discussing how we can improve our local recycling performance,” he said.

As part of the summit Mr Ralph will ask attendees to identify and report on five key opportunities for the territory, which WRINT will present back to government for consideration and future implementation.

“The industry summit in Darwin will bring all stakeholders together, engaging key industry experts, and I am confident the outcomes will present new local opportunities to take advantage of the waste challenges in Australia and more particularly the NT face,” he said.

Northern Territory Environment and Natural Resource Minister Eva Lawler will also address the summit at a breakfast event on day two.

“Presentations throughout the summit will provide information from industry leaders on how business and government can continue to deliver innovative secondary resource recovery solutions and maintain community confidence in recycling,” Mr Ralph said.

For register click here.

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Build it and they will come: Rick Ralph

Waste Management Review catches up with outgoing Waste and Recycling Industry QLD CEO Rick Ralph, talking international waste bans, Queensland policy setting and his career journey.

In 1981, a 20-something Rick Ralph was selling toilet paper and towels in Melbourne.

He’d introduced hospitals to a range of one-way clinical products and disposal paper products, but little did he know his life would be about to change.

Four years prior, he had dropped out of university and followed the sabbatical adolescent rite of passage to travel the globe.

“I probably didn’t apply myself as much as I should have. It’s ironic that I’ve just been installed in the School Hall of Fame for my achievements in the community and environment now 40 years later – quite incredible,” he recalls.

A call out of the blue from one of Rick’s mentors at Comalco Aluminium led him to head up the Cash for Cans Initiative in Victoria  – a world-first container refund scheme.

“Someone had heard about someone, who knew someone, who knew someone, and I got a phone call. I thought this was interesting and in January 1981, started my career in recycling and waste management,” he says.

Comalco promoted aluminium can recycling to the general public by inspiring children and community groups to collect their cans. It saw the establishment of buy-back centres where users could return their cans for a cash return. Much like modern container refund schemes, they raised significant funds for community and charity projects across Australia.

The occasion calls for reflection as Waste Management Review Editor Toli Papadopoulos caught up with Rick, the Chief Executive Officer of Waste Recycling Industry Association (QLD). As Rick recently announced his retirement, I spoke with him over lunch to discuss his 39-year career in waste and recycling.

CASH FOR CANS

Comalco Aluminium’s Cash for Cans initiative would later inspire similar schemes in Western Australia and internationally, and led to a ban on glass sales at Australian Rules Football grounds in Victoria.

“The introduction of the aluminium can and Comalco’s program was the complete reset of the environmental recycling movement in Australia,” Rick says.

“It changed recycling from putting out your 55-litre bin and a few bottles and paper for the garbo to collect to a wholesale reform where it introduced and supported community-based litter programs. It shifted the way glass recycling occurred and shifted the light weighting of glass bottles.”

He adds that it removed steel cans from beverage one-way use and reduced litter of cans from the waste stream. It also triggered the paper industry to change its recycling model.

“We paid out millions each year. At one stage we had 33 per cent of Australia’s primary and secondary school system actively engaged, we had employees developing school’s programs and it was the founding of community events such as the can raft regattas that still go on today.

“What many in government and the community don’t realise is that the aluminium can had the highest recycling rate in the world. At its peak, it performed well over 65 per cent recovery and stabilised somewhere near 60 to 62 percent regularly.”

As the program matured and kerbside commenced in the late 90s, focus shifted, and the program was disbanded.

In the years since, Rick helped introduce beach litter programs with the late Dame Phyllis Frost from Keep Australia Beautiful, while also later working in WA and South Africa.

But in the early 90s, he went back to the Sunshine State as Director of Waste Services at the City of Brisbane, a role which he held for three years.

“I left that because it was either politicians winning or Rick, and Rick was never going to win,” he jokes.

“I then bought a recycling business and we were one of the first materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in Brisbane and the state’s largest glass recycler.”

He stayed in this role for around five years.

Rick then went on to work at an Australian-first pyrolysis municipal solid waste plant as General Manager Recycling and Resource Recovery in Wollongong in NSW.

“It was a genuine attempt at waste-to-energy at the turn of the century and a time when a lot of the alternative waste treatments got going in NSW. We were competing in a very noisy and developing waste space,” Rick says.

THE BUSINESS VOICE

In 2006, an opportunity arose to start an industry association which would become what Rick says provided a business voice for waste and recycling. Working with Tony Khoury, who heads up the Waste Contractors Recyclers Association (WCRA) NSW, one of the oldest waste industry associations in the world, Rick helped established WCRA QLD. Formed in 2007, the association would later be rebranded to Waste Recycling Industry Queensland (WRIQ) in 2012.

On his achievements with WRIQ, he cites supporting the development of environmentally relevant activities such as the Department of Environment and Science (DES) version of EPA guidelines for waste-related activities and our future leaders’ program.

Additionally, replicating the governance model of WRIQ in the Northern Territory and supporting state-based associations in WA and SA was another highlight. Not least, his work setting up the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council in partnership with former CEO Max Spedding.

In respect to the repeal of the levy by the Campbell Newman Government, Rick says there are those that accused WRIQ of advocating for its repeal – a complete falsehood.

“We advocated to get it right because the framework was wrong. The current levy is still wrong as we have this disconnect where only half the state has got it and only that half is paying for the levy.”

Reflecting on the lessons learnt from Cash for Cans, Rick says the Queensland Government’s container refund scheme (CRS) changed forever the operating parameters of existing recycling systems.

Rick says that disruption was inevitable but he doesn’t think we have truly yet analysed where that will stabilise. He says that coupled with changes in commodity values, international quality specifications and product market access, 12 months along only now are we seeing the real impacts to kerbside systems.

“From the social equity view it’s been hugely successful as it provided many communities in Queensland previously without access to recycling an opportunity to participate – a great result,” he says.

“However, it’s time we step back, analyse these changes and leverage those outcomes. We must refocus our attention and ensure kerbside and many other commercial systems are just as sustainable. Existing kerbside models are outdated. They need revitalising and readjustment for them to survive this new community norm.”

CHALLENGES AHEAD

Rick says right now one of the great challenges facing Queensland is a disconnect between government policy and industry, describing the regulatory framework as a failure.

“Be it developing and improving existing assets of brownfield sites or even greenfield developments, Queensland currently is a ‘basket case’ in terms of its planning arrangements and the approvals framework and government is totally responsible for that confused and complex environment.”

Industry was blind-sided when the Queensland Government exercised its legislative powers, introducing new requirements for buffer zones on all new or expanded facilities in the Swanbank and New Chum industrial area.

A Temporary Legislative Planning Instrument (TLPI) was used to suspend part of their planning scheme and took effect for two years from 6 April 2018. The TLPI introduced a 750-metre buffer from existing, approved or planned residential areas for new and expanded waste facilities, including in landfill.

“If you look historically in planning terms, WRIQ agreed in 2013 with the government of the day introducing planning instruments that gave protection to all our existing assets and gave sensitive receptors and community protection as well.

“With the re-election of this current government, it again changed the planning framework, the third government in six years to do so, by slapping a TLPI on us in the most sensitive and secure landfill region for southeast Queensland without any industry consultation.”

Rick’s frustration with the slow process of reform saw him commission an independent survey of 67 WRIQ members in 2018 into the performance of the DES.

The feedback called for a complete overhaul of the DES and the instalment of an EPA to regulate the industry. He maintains that position is more apt today than ever.

I ask if there’s been any progress on the matter since then, he laughs and says Queensland is on Fijian time.

“As a local Fijian once said to me, ‘no worry, no hurry here’,” he says.

“From an industry perspective I think government has heard us. But there is this continuing reluctance to genuinely understand and change things. However we’re going to maintain the pressure. We must.

“I think there’s an opportunity to have a look at what Victoria has done. It may not be perfect, but I think from time to time we need to actually take a step back.”

“I hope my successor goes harder than I ever did on getting our reforms through with the regulator.”

And despite Queensland introducing a $70-per-tonne waste levy in July 2018 on waste to landfill, with council and state elections coming up in 2020, Rick says we are heading for a 10-month period of political paralysis.

“When you add the slowed local economy and lack of industry development, it’s very difficult to actually identify if the levy has worked or not.

“Yes it’s caused a rethink, but what’s disappointing is that industry wants to invest, industry wants to go forward, industry wants to create jobs, but we can’t build a thing.

“You’ve got a culture in Queensland where you can set up, start operating, build it and get retrospective approval. This is the greatest threat to our economic development.”

He says the role of the Federal Government should now be to focus on improving regulatory planning processes to ensure states can support and deliver the national targets.

While his achievements over the past two decades are distinct, he says WRIQ has been grateful just to have a seat at the table.

“You’re never going to influence policy, but you must be at the table to talk.

“You can, however, influence regulations because regulations are where it is for any business owner.”

On the issue of the international waste ban, Rick says we need to get serious and stop referring to it as a ban on “waste”.

He points out that we don’t export waste, but rather recyclate. As waste management in Australia has traditionally focused on collection with a lack of substantive local end markets, he questions why we are banning material if there is a sensible end destination for value-added material.

The National Waste Report finds around 5.6 million tonnes of paper and cardboard was generated in 2016-17, with 60 per cent of this recycled and 40 per cent sent to landfill.

A mere 12 per cent of the 2.5 million tonnes of plastics was recycled that same year. Given the high generation figures, Rick ask if the focus is on international environmental and human health harm, then there are far more urgent materials for the attention of COAG, such as baled up scrap metal that is going out under the radar.

“For goodness sake, industry can’t even update an existing brownfield site. How the hell are we going to find remanufacturing for 1.2 million tonnes of paper and products, and more than 250,000 tonnes of plastics in just a couple of years?”

He adds rushed policy is bad policy, and advocates for a full regulatory impact study that quantifies the economic, social and business impacts of these bans before they happen.

“It’s great we’re talking about remanufacturing, but in the current environment of the interference by government at all levels and our elected representatives, it’s going to be difficult. Realistically, if we don’t have a home for it, materials will go straight to landfill with the only benefits going to government from waste levies.

“That’s the reality and that’s not acceptable.”

As for whether he has any regrets.  Rick sips his drink and responds without hesitation: ‘nothing’.

He says you need to make the mistakes of past to know what you’ve done wrong, so you don’t make them again.

“It’s been fun, but it hasn’t ended. This is a personal reset of my own priorities and handing things over to a new generation of leaders.”

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WRIQ announces 2019 industry awards finalists

The Waste Recycling Industry Association QLD (WRIQ) has announced category finalists for the WRIQ 2019 Industry Awards.

WRIQ CEO Rick Ralph said the awards aim to recognise individuals and projects that contribute to Queensland’s waste management and resource recovery sector.

“The individuals and teams selected as finalists have demonstrated not only a high level of proficiency at their jobs, but also their dedication and commitment to improving and developing Queensland’s essential waste management and resource recovery industry,” Mr Ralph said.

“I thank all those who nominated for this year’s awards for their contribution to the industry and congratulate all deserving finalists.”

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner 19 July at the Brisbane Hilton.

Finalists:

Administrator of the year: SoilCyclers Sarah Armstrong, Raw Metal Corp Steffanie-Jo Kelly and Kanga Bins Tiffany Lim.

Maintenance employee of the year: Suez Randall Mckey, Westrex Services Jason Noble and BMI Group Andrew Russell.

Plant and equipment operator of the year: Cleanaway Cyril Ballard and Suez Kane Pym, Marlyn Compost Andrew Russell.

Trainee or apprentice of the year: Cleanaway Taryn Batt, Suez Dwayne Brown and Sims Metal Management Whitney Simpson.

Driver of the year: Raw Metal Corp Gary Arnold, SUEZ Recycling and Recovery Antony Francis and Cleanaway Paul O’Hara.

Resource recovery employee of the year: Veolia Gary Applegate, SoilCyclers Simon Brakels and BMI Group Corey Michael.

Collaborative achievement in resource recovery: Cleanaway container refund scheme project implementation, Coastal Skip Bin Hire “Recycling Solutions” and Kanga Bins container refund and ART machine installation.

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QLD releases energy from waste policy

The public is being invited to comment on the Queensland Government’s Energy-from-Waste policy discussion paper, released earlier this week.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said finding alternative uses for waste was becoming more important than ever.

“The discussion paper is giving Queenslanders a chance to contribute to the development of a new policy, provide feedback on the types of technologies and help us plan for the future,” Ms Enoch said.

“The paper is an important action under the government’s new waste strategy.”

Ms Enoch said the government’s waste strategy outlined priorities and actions to help grow the recycling and resource recovery sector.

“We have set ambitious targets to recover 90 per cent of the waste we generate by 2050 and recycle at least 75 per cent of that waste,” Ms Enoch said.

“But we acknowledge that some wastes cannot be recycled, and it is better to retain the value of these wastes by recovering energy than it is to dispose of them to landfill. This is all part of our broader transition to a circular economy.”

Waste Recycling Industry Queensland (WRIQ) Executive Officer Rick Ralph said WRIQ and its members welcomed the new waste strategy.

“Energy from waste will play an important role in helping to achieve the objectives and targets of the strategy,” Mr Ralph said.

“The release of the Energy-from-Waste discussion paper is a step in the right direction. Industry looks forward to having this discussion with the government in this important initiative.”

Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) CEO Gayle Sloan said energy from waste was a vital part of a sustainable waste and resource recovery system.

“Its technologies are also proven globally, with more than 2000 energy from waste facilities operating safely across the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, many having operated for decades,” Ms Sloan said.

“We look forward to working with the Queensland Government to leverage the technical expertise of our industry to develop a policy that promotes investment in, and growth of, an integrated waste management and resource recovery system that includes energy from waste.”

Public consultation is open until 26 August.

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Calls for Queensland EPA

An independent survey of 67 Waste and Recycling Industry Queensland members has recommended an inquiry into the performance of the Department of Environment and Science.

Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions (QEAS), an independent market research firm, was commissioned to electronically survey members of Waste and Recycling Industry Queensland (WRIQ) on the performance of the waste industry regulator – the Department of Environment & Science (DES).

Responses throughout November and December 2018 were received from 67 members representing 70 per cent of the membership employing 4556 Queenslanders. The resulting QEAS Queensland Environmental Regulator Survey 2018 was produced.

The crucial repercussions of the document highlighted concerns towards the effectiveness of the Environmental Services and Regulation (ESR) Division and its ongoing relationship with the sector.

The WRIQ roadmap for ESR improvement highlights a need to improve consultation, education, set clear goals, targets and expectations and improve expertise and ESR resourcing. Other key recommendations are to offer consistent advice and improved response times and that ESR be independent of politics.

WRIQ members overwhelmingly believe Queensland’s DES and ESR responsibilities to be important. But 42 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed that the ESR was reviewing legislation and policy and compliance frameworks well. Almost 70 per cent of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that ESR were taking a proportionate and consistent compliance and enforcement program and working collaboratively with government, industry and community groups.

Rick Ralph, WRIQ Chief Executive Officer, says that it’s unprecedented that 70 per cent of the industry with 45,000 employees were so universal in their scathing criticism of the regulator.

Rick says that there is a fundamental disconnect between regulators focused heavily on penalising operators.

“The regulator makes the rules and that’s their policy – it’s all about enforcement. They don’t offer any solutions. When something gets too hard, they are fundamentally ineffective in understanding the economic impacts of an unregulated environment,” Rick says.

In terms of where the regulator is performing well, select WRIQ members had positive feedback on their dealings with individual officers, but singled out the systematic flaws in the regulatory strategy.

Across the board, survey respondents rated the performance of ESR as poor to average, with an 85 per cent negative rating for problem solving, 86 per cent negative for stopping illegal dumping and 77 per cent criticising the decisions as being unsound, not evidence-based, and illogical.

The wide range of feedback segments covered consistency and confidence, drivers of actions, the Odour Busters program, resourcing and expertise, rogue operators and accountability and compliance versus education.

The Queensland Government’s Odour Busters taskforce was established to deal with nuisance odours in the Swanbank area.

The Odour Abatement Taskforce, also known as Odour Busters, was intended to operate from a local base at Redbank Plains to crack down on offensive odours and other environmental concerns in the area for 12 months in 2018.

One respondent asked why no findings had been published, with vague information on social media.

Rick says that industry and ESR need to actually commission a training program with industry so that officers understand what best practice looks like. Where complexities happen in regulation, there is a process of review to sort out the problem.

Criticism was also drawn at the ability of the regulator to conduct site audits and promote better compliance, and that inspections were part of a structured audit and compliance program rather than reactions to community sentiment.

One of the key recommendations of the report was a complete overhaul of the system for the government to act swiftly and produce an independent investigation into the current system. The goal would be to install an independent EPA, with four in five respondents indicating their support for such an agency.

According to Rick, an EPA should have an independent board.

“That authority then has clarity, purpose and a relationship with the industry and it actually works with the industry to find solutions, not just penalise,” Rick says.

“Universally where there’s been an EPA, it’s shown to be the model that actually works.”

He adds that the Victorian EPA’s modernisation showed how important it was to reinvigorate old structures with contemporary models, while stopping short of making recommendations on a Queensland structure and leaving it to an independent review.

WRIQ put a 10-point plan to the minister and is now waiting for a formal response from the director general. The 10-point plan is focused on building a commercial level playing field on how the industry is managed and non-adversarial. The plan includes that ESR establish an internal reference panel with an independent chair. It also advocates for a third-party review into ESR management and the independent review into environmental regulation.

“The environment minister has agreed to establish a working group and we have provided every Queensland minister with a copy of our report calling upon them to support the environment minister in overhauling the performance of the state’s regulator.

“Regrettably, not a single minister has acknowledged that correspondence and in terms of government engagement with its stakeholders, this lack of support is challenging for our members,” Rick says.

He says the review into ESR at DES should be conducted this year in order to prevent its politicisation in the 2020 election.

A DES spokesperson said it takes its role as Queensland’s environment regulator seriously and works closely with all industry stakeholders.

The spokesperson said that the department will take prompt enforcement action on industry members not compliant with their obligations.

“The Odour Abatement Taskforce is a twelve-month program, being undertaken to address odour and other environmental nuisance issues within the Swanbank Industrial Area.”

It said DES is undertaking a comprehensive education program to help improve compliance.

Queensland Government Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the DES recently underwent a restructure following machinery of government changes in 2018.

This has seen the creation of a new waste branch within the department specific to waste and resource recovery. She said the feedback from WRIQ will be considered by the department and help the government improve its stakeholder engagement.

This article was published in the May edition of Waste Management Review.

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Looking into a later levy

Waste Management Review examines some of the reasons why the Queensland Government’s waste levy was pushed back to 1 July 2019 and what it means for the industry going forward.

Read moreLooking into a later levy

Thought leadership in QLD: Future Waste Resources Forum 2018

In the largest convention of its kind, this year’s Future Waste Resources Forum updated the Queensland waste industry on the important next steps for resource recovery in 2019.

Read moreThought leadership in QLD: Future Waste Resources Forum 2018

QLD waste levy start date pushed back

The start date to the Queensland waste levy has been pushed back to 1 July 2019 and will have a higher price per tonne.

Originally scheduled to start on 4 March 2019, the waste levy will now start at $75 per tonne with the date of levy increments proposed to be moved to 1 July each year.

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Consultation about the waste levy was undertaken by the Queensland Government over several months, which found that stakeholders and local governments have asked for a later start date.

It has also committed 70 per cent of revenue raised through the levy will go towards councils, the waste industry, scheme start-up and environmental programs.

Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said delaying the start of the levy and changing the increment dates required the state government to adjust the waste levy rate to ensure it doesn’t fall behind other states.

“We are a consultative government and want to ensure the implementation of the waste levy is as smooth as possible for local councils, industry and for Queensland,” Ms Enoch said.

Ms Enoch also ensured Queenslanders would not have to pay more for their weekly council collections, as advanced payments would be provided to councils.

Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Greg Hallam said the state government has worked cooperatively with the association and is pleased to have reached a pragmatic outcome to ensure local governments are ready for the waste levy.

“A 1 July start date, even if that means a slightly higher rate, is exactly what we asked government for, and it’s good news for Queensland councils,” Mr Hallam said.

“The waste levy will help us advance toward a zero-waste future by 2035 and we thank the government for listening to our concerns about timing.”

Waste and Recycling Industry Queensland CEO Rick Ralph said he understood that more time for councils also means more time for industry to be ready and for the right regulatory structures to be put in place.

“The waste and recycling industry is getting on with the job of preparing for the waste levy and we’ll continue to work closely with the government to ensure the levy is implemented well,” Mr Ralph said.

The Queensland Government has also announced it will provide $6 million in extra funding to expand the Community Sustainability Action Grants Program to cover waste.

An additional $1 million will go towards a resource recovery Industries Roadmap and Action Plan and $6 million for a regional recycling transport assistance program.

QLD Environment Minister opens Future Waste Resources Convention

Queensland’s Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch officially opened the Future Waste Resources Convention in Ipswich, speaking to waste and recycling industry representatives from across the state.

The minister told businesses and local councils that the state government’s priority is to work with the community and industry to reduce landfill and encourage resource recovery.

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“I’m delighted to see that industry leaders are looking to the future, and preparing to make the most of the opportunities ahead,” Ms Enoch said.

“We are in a fortunate position to have internationally competitive businesses right here in Queensland, using cutting-edge technologies and processes for turning waste into valuable and profitable, products and services.

“We want to build on that competitive advantage,” she said.

The convention, located at Ipswich’s Workshops Rail Museum, focuses on realistic solutions to current challenges.

“Changing how we manage waste in Queensland will create jobs and drive significant economic growth as we make better use of resources and develop new industries,” Ms Enoch said.

Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland CEO Rick Ralph said the convention has brought together more than 250 attendees from across the industry, and state and local government.

“This is the largest convention of its kind in Queensland history, focussing on future waste and recycling solutions for the state,” Mr Ralph said.

“It is wonderful the convention is being held at one the oldest manufacturing centres to show the possibilities for the future.”

Queensland opens $100M funding program for waste and recycling

A new $100 million program has been opened in Queensland that aims to improve the state’s recycling, resource recovery and biofutures industries.

The Resource Recovery Industry Development Program is designed to encourage removing waste from landfill, with the Queensland Government calling for interested parties to come forward with project proposals.

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Three streams are offered to capture projects across a variety of scales and levels of support.

Stream one is a rounds-based capital grants scheme with dollar-for dollar grants available up to $5 million to provide funding for infrastructure projects in new processing and technological capabilities.

The second stream is a broad incentives stream to attract or expand major resource recovery operations to divert waste from landfill.

A third stream will involve funding towards capital-intensive, long lifecycle projects which require support for investigations for final investment decisions.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the funding was made available over three years to develop a high value resource recovery and recycling industry.

“Our aim is to make Queensland a world leader in projects involving resource recovery, recycling and the re-manufacturing of materials to turn waste to energy,” Mr Dick said.

“Economically, we know such projects have the potential to generate new jobs for our communities and build confidence for business to invest in Queensland, and we know encouraging investment and innovation in the waste industry will also deliver long-term benefits environmentally.

“This program is another demonstration of the State Government supporting investment in Queensland through reducing waste going to landfill, and another leap forward in our journey towards a zero-waste future.”

Mr Dick said the projects will also create new products from waste, growing industry and reducing the impact on the environment.

“This funding will be available to support local governments and existing businesses and will attract new major projects to Queensland,” he said.

“Applications are also welcome from consortia: businesses or local governments working together on plans to deliver integrated projects.”

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said this program was part of the Queensland Government’s long-term vision to attract investment, develop new industries and grow jobs.

“We have a real opportunity to improve waste management practices in Queensland,” she said.

“Research indicates that for every 10,000 tonnes of waste that goes to landfill, less than three jobs are supported. But if that same waste was recycled, more than nine jobs would be supported.

“That is why our Government is moving towards a comprehensive waste management strategy, underpinned by a waste disposal levy. Last week we introduced legislation into Queensland Parliament and we are now one step closer to stopping interstate waste being dumped here in our state and encouraging more investment in industry,” Ms Enoch said.

Waste Recycling Industry Queensland CEO Rick Ralph said the funding announcement is critical to investment decisions proceeding.

“It now provides Queensland industry the opportunity to develop and create new jobs by driving economic growth that in turn will reshape the state as Australia’s leading secondary resources and recycling capital.”

Expressions of interest for stream one will remain open until 5 October, with funding through streams two and three available through application. The Queensland Government aims to have the first projects funded within the first half of 2019.

For more information, click here.

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