The 2019-20 Victorian budget has injected $35 million into the waste and resource recovery industry, using funds raised from the municipal and industrial landfill levy.
According to the offical budget website, proceeds from the levy are first used to fund core activities of environmental agencies, with the remaining balance going towards the sustainability fund.
The budget has allocated an additional $68.8 million in levy proceeds including $15 million to strengthen the EPA, $30 million for the Lara stockpile site rehabilitation and $3.7 million to combat illegal stockpiling and hazardous waste mismanagement.
Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) CEO Gayle Sloan said Victoria was leading the way in its financial commitment to assisting the waste industry in developing markets.
“It’s been more than 18 months since China implemented its National Sword policy and its impacts, along with other ongoing challenges, have brought to the fore the need to build and grow domestic remanufacturing,” Ms Sloan said.
“This week’s $35 million announcement is on top of the almost $37 million Victoria provided to industry in 2018 in the wake of China.”
Ms Sloan said developing a sustainable remanufacturing base was dependant on robust government regulation, and policy that supports market development and demand for recycled material.
“With the recent appointment of two federal ministers in the environment portfolio, including for the first time an assistant minister for waste reduction, WMRR is hopeful that Australia will finally have the much-needed national coordination and leadership it requires to grow its domestic remanufacturing sector and develop a consistent policy approach,” Ms Sloan said.
“We know that for every 10,000 tonnes of product recycled we create 9.2 jobs, so this is good news for Victoria.”
Ms Sloan said it was an exciting time to be working in the waste and resource recovery industry.
“WMRR looks forward to continuing its positive collaboration with the Victorian Government, as it fixes and builds its essential waste and resource recovery industry to create a circular economy and build a local remanufacturing industry,” Ms Sloan said.
“We will continue to work closely with Victoria’s leaders to provide feedback and input on the projects, policies, and investment priorities that will drive the sector forward.”