8 May 2024

The botched handling of waste and recycling under the Labor Government has been laid bare at the Waste Reduction and Recycling Policies Inquiry Hearing today.

Consistent with the COAG decision in 2019 to phase out the export of certain waste products, the Coalition Government created the $250 million Recycling Modernisation Fund to assist industry in creating more recycling capacity.

The Labor Government, however, has hopelessly failed in the rollout of this program.

Shadow Environment Minister Jonno Duniam:

“Recycling is a neglected mess under Labor that has to be cleaned up.”

“The COAG decision in 2019 signalled a cohesive, Federation-wide approach to recycling that was being enacted through the joint initiatives like the Recycling Modernisation Fund. The ball has been dropped by Labor who haven’t allocated a single further dollar or measure to enhance our recycling capacity. We are now seeing the economic and environmental consequences.”

“From REDcycle to the RMF, there has been bungle after bungle with no extra attention or funding from the Government to deal with this serious issue.”

“There has not been one single additional initiative by the Labor Government to deal with the recycling crisis. The absence of serious and meaningful consultation is appalling.”

“Targets are off track, stakeholders are up in arms and more and more material that should be recycled is heading to landfill. It is a disaster that Tanya Plibersek is doing nothing about.”

Today, industry was also blindsided by news that the Labor Government’s waste export levy would be scrapped at the upcoming budget:

“A tax, levy and licence fee are the same thing – a disincentive for industry to recycle paper and cardboard in the way that they know best.”

“Tanya Plibersek needs to do more than gaslight industry with a supposed good news story but secretly plan to clip honest businesses with thousands of dollars in extra costs through an impending licence fee.”

“The tokenistic consultation by Minister Plibersek has left a communication void with industry which is leading to kneejerk ideas that don’t hit the mark.”

“She needs to actually listen to what stakeholders are saying, not seek out a good news story that will actually mean bad results for our environment.”