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Monday, 26 November 2018
Page: 11544

Waste and Recycling Industry

(Question No. 1051)

Ms Sharkie asked the Minister for the Environment, in writing, on 20 August 2018:

1051 - MS SHARKIE: To ask the Minister for the Environment—In respect of the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee's final report Never waste a crisis: the waste and recycling industry in Australia (26 June 2018), will the Government (a) establish a Plastics Cooperative Research Centre to lead Australia's research efforts into reducing plastic waste, cleaning up our oceans and finding end-markets for recovered plastic; if not, why not; (b) publish the National Waste Report biennially; if not, why not; (c) set mandatory targets for government departments in respect of the recycled content of materials (i) bought directly, and (ii) provided by private contractors; if not, why not; (d) implement a National Container Deposit Scheme; if not, why not; (e) require the establishment of mandatory product stewardship schemes for tyres, mattresses, e-waste and photo-voltaic panels; if not, why not; and (f) re-establish the Product Stewardship Advisory Committee; if not, why not; if so, would it be tasked with recommending products for listing under the Product Stewardship Act 2011.

Ms Price: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Australian Government is committed to setting a sustainable path for Australia's recyclable waste, and notes the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee Report: Never waste a crisis: the waste and recycling industry in Australia.

On 27 April 2018 Australia's Commonwealth, State and Territory environment ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association committed to set a sustainable path for Australia's recyclable waste. Commitments included bringing forward updates to the 2009 National Waste Policy by year end, which will include circular economy principles.

The updated Policy will establish a national roadmap for collective action on waste. It will also provide a framework for further planning, prioritisation and implementation.

The Department of the Environment and Energy is currently coordinating work across the Australian Government, state, territory and local governments, industry and non-government organisations to prepare updates to the National Waste Policy. Updates will take into consideration the eighteen recommendations presented in the Senate Committee Report. The updated Policy will be finalised in late 2018 for consideration at the next Meeting of Environment Ministers.