The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) is urging all parties to commit to six key priorities for the upcoming NSW election.
At the Local Government NSW’s Save Our Recycling Election Summit, WMRR CEO Gayle Sloan said meeting WMRR’s six priorities would future-proof the state’s economy, protect the environment and create jobs in NSW.
“If China’s National Sword policy has taught us anything, it is the need to strengthen and grow both domestic processing/remanufacturing and local market demand.
“All stakeholders need to play their part in responding to this new reality, it is now up to the NSW Government to show leadership and support our vital industry,” she said.
WMRR is urging all parties to commit to the following priorities:
1. The creation of a market development agency similar to Sustainability Victoria (SV) and Green Industries South Australia (GISA).
2. Greater accountability and transparency of the landfill levy, and a return and reinvestment of 50 per cent of levy funds raised each year to support diversion from landfill, grow remanufacturing facilities, and create markets.
3. To underpin waste infrastructure and award funds accordingly, WMRR is calling for a recommitment for a finalisation of the state’s strategic infrastructure strategy, which has been placed on hold by the NSW EPA since July 2017, to strategically develop and approve required infrastructure.
4. To develop a specific Waste and Resource Recovery State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), including recognition that this infrastructure is critical/essential and requires certainty of both location (by way of designated precincts) and appropriate buffer zones.
5. Enforcement of the proximity principle and development of a common approach to managing ‘waste’ as it becomes a resource, which also requires resource recovery exemptions and orders to be certain and robust.
6. Commitment to sustainable procurement coupled with the development of specifications that include recycled content. Mandate the use of recycled/recovered content in procurement policies for local and state government, including state government agencies, and ensure these are applied in procurement for all building, civil, and infrastructure works.