QLD levy comes into effect

The Queensland Government’s waste levy has come into effect, bringing Queensland in line with the majority of Australian states and territories.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said prior to the levy’s reintroduction Queensland was the only mainland state without a waste levy.

The levy will apply to most commercial and industrial waste going to landfill – starting at $75 per tonne.

The levy zone includes 39 out of 77 local government areas, which covers an estimated 90 per cent of Queensland’s population.

Ms Enoch said the government had employed extra compliance officers to ensure businesses were following new waste management legislation.

“The Department of Environment and Science will have 16 extra staff on the ground with more to come, which will help to prevent illegal dumping across the state,” Ms Enoch said.

Waste Management & Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) CEO Gayle Sloan said WMRR appreciated the state governments collaboration with industry throughout the levy development and implementation process.

“Queensland may have to play catch up on a number of waste management and resource recovery fronts, but the process the state government has undertaken in the lead‐up to the levy reintroduction is certainly one that other jurisdictions can and should learn from,” Ms Sloan said.

“The government did not rush into this, but instead heeded the advice of stakeholders and provided time for industry and councils to make the necessary adjustments and prepare for the levy.”

According to Ms Sloan, the state government have committed to reinvest 70 per cent of levy funds into the waste industry to drive investment in the domestic remanufacturing sector.

“WMRR recognises change is not easy, we know business as usual is not an option and we believe that the Queensland Government is to be congratulated for this move,” Ms Sloan said.

Related stories:

Scania and Visy work towards sustainability

Scania has delivered 10 new P 450 6×4 prime movers to Visy Logistics’ Truganina site as part of its Ecolution sustainability initiative to reduce emissions.

Scania Australia Vehicle Connected Driver Services Manager Richard Bain said the new vehicles will deliver significant savings in fuel, reduced exhaust emissions and a boost to Visy’s road safety record.

“The trucks will deliver Visy’s recycled cardboard products, manufactured at its state-of-the-art factory in Truganina, to customers across metropolitan Melbourne.”

Mr Bain said the 13-litre engine prime movers are among the most efficient available and are fitted with the standard Scania NTG safety package, comprising lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and electronic stability control.

“The Scania Ecolution trial will give Visy full visibility of how the truck fleet is being driven, how much fuel is being used and how emissions are being reduced, as well as directing its maintenance requirements,” Mr. Bain said.

“The Ecolution programme begins with a tailor-made specification of the prime mover, designed exactly to meet the needs of the task.”

According to Mr Bain, by using Scania’s onboard communicator and global connectivity system, Visy fleet management will be able to monitor how the vehicles are being driven, highlight deviations and allow Scania’s trainers to keep drivers performing at peak efficiency levels.

“Scania Ecolution is a powerful solution producing substantial fuel and CO2 reductions for our customer – helping to drive our ambition of providing the market’s most sustainable and profitable transport solutions,” Mr Bain said.

“By offering Visy Logistics this suite of features through the Ecolution trial, we are delivering on our strategy to be a leader in the shift towards a sustainable transport system.”

Related stories:

Visy’s Anthony Pratt named Australia’s wealthiest individual

The Australian has revealed Visy executive chairman and owner of Pratt Industries, Anthony Pratt is Australia’s wealthiest individual, with a fortune of $13.14 billion.

He is one of 250 people named in The List: Australia’s Richest 250, which will be published in The Weekend Australian tomorrow as a special magazine.

The list was curated and edited by wealth expert John Stensholt and a global team of researchers and journalists.

Related stories:

The study reveals the entire fortune of Australia’s wealthiest 250 is $318.33 billion, with each member having an average of $1.27 billion. Included in the list are 96 billionaires, 15 people aged 40 and under and 27 females. The average age of members is 65, with 95-year-olds Len Ainsowrth (Associated World Investments, Sydney) and Marc Beseen (TarraWarra, Melbourne) the eldest named and 26-year-old Tobi Pearce (Sweat) the list’s youngest member.

Joining Pratt in the Top 10 is Hancock Prospecting chairman Gina Rinehart (65, Perth) who came in at number 2, with an accumulated wealth of $13.12 billion – a mere $20 million separating her from Pratt.

Meriton managing director Harry Triguboff (86, Sydney) is at number 3, with a fortune of $12.31 billion. More broadly, property dominates the majority of wealth, with 68 members making their fortune from the industry. Many members have also made their fortunes in industries such as transport and mining, before diversifying into residential and commercial property investments.

The list has been compiled using publicly available information. Public shareholdings are calculated on share prices up to 15 February 2019 and property values and purchase prices have been derived from several public sources. Price companies are valued using profit margins and various earnings ratios of comparable stock market listed competitors.

The List: Australia’s Richest 250
The Top 10

1.     Anthony Pratt and family ($13.14 billion)
2.     Gina Rinehart ($13.12 billion)
3.     Harry Triguboff ($12.31 billion)
4.     Mike Cannon-Brookes ($9.01 billion)
5.     Scott Farquhar ($9.01 billion)
6.     Frank Lowy ($8.92 billion)
7.     Hui Wing Mau ($8.63 billion)
8.     Andrew Forrest ($7.34 billion)
9.     Ivan Glasenberg ($6.76 billion)
10.  John Gandel ($6.22 billion)

New Visy plant in Melbourne’s west being built

Visy is opening a new corrugated cardboard plant in Melbourne’s west with backing from the Victorian Government – creating 85 new jobs and boosting production.

Victorian Government Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll in mid October toured the $99 million facility in Truganina to meet workers and inspect progress of the build.

Related stories:

Corrugated cardboard produced at the plant will be manufactured from 100 per cent recycled paper and cardboard for the local food and beverage market supporting primary producers, manufacturers and retailers.

“Manufacturing in Victoria continues to go from strength-to-strength thanks to the backing of the Andrews Labor Government,” Mr Carrol said.

“We’re backing Visy’s massive expansion because it’ll boost our economy, create 85 new jobs and give work to former auto-workers.”

Monash Uni launches research hub to transform biowaste

A new research hub is focused on transforming organic waste into marketable chemicals that can be used for a variety of uses, from medicinal gels to food packaging.

Monash University has launched the Australian Research Council (ARC) Hub for Processing Advance Lignocelluosics into Advanced Materials.

Related stories:

A total of $6.8 million over five years will be invested into converting biomass and plant-based matter into materials such as cellulose-based hydrogels for personal medicine, nanocellulose films to replace food packaging and nanogels to help farmers maintain their crops.

An industry consortium composed of Visy, Amcor, Circa, Leaf, Orora, and Norske Skog will join Monash, the University of Tasmania, the University of South Australia, the Tasmanian Government and AgroParis Tech as part of the ARC hub.

The research could significantly impact pulp and paper companies, turning them into potential bio-refineries.

Three objectives have been specified to achieve this industry transformation, which involve deriving green chemicals from Australian wood and lignocellulosic streams, engineering new nanocellulose applications and developing ultralight paper and novel packaging. Potential packaging could have significantly improved physical properties, such as including radio-frequency identification technology to integrate with transport or retail systems.

Bioresource Processing Research Institute of Australia Director Gil Garnier said the research will help the Australian pulp, paper and forestry industry transform their production waste into high-grade goods.

“This hub will leverage world-leading Australian and international research capabilities in chemistry, materials science and engineering with the express aim of creating new materials, companies and jobs for our growing bioeconomy,” Prof Garnier said.

“With ongoing support and vision from our government, industry and university partners, we will identify new applications and products derived from biowaste to transform the pharmaceutical, chemicals, plastics and food packaging industries in Australia and across the world.

“In fact, one of the goals is for our industry partners to generate, within four to 10 years, 25-50 per cent of their profits from products that don’t exist today,” he said.

Scrunching the issue of soft plastics

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has compiled a comprehensive gap analysis on the market barriers to recovering soft plastics. Waste Management Review sat down with APCO’s Brooke Donnelly to discuss how it fits into the broader plastics issue.

Read moreScrunching the issue of soft plastics

X