NSW calls for National leadership on waste

The NSW Government is calling for national regulation to better control and manage waste.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the Commonwealth needs to demonstrate it is serious about tackling waste and creating a sustainable industry by establishing a national regulatory framework. 

“Having different systems in different states causes confusion and allows some organisations to game the system,” Ms Upton said.

“By providing the consistent regulation across jurisdictions we will encourage investment and the right behaviour.

NSW is developing a 20-year waste strategy to provide the community and waste industry with certainty about the whole sector’s future, Ms Upton said today. 

The strategy will for the first time include a long term vision and roadmap for waste management and resource recovery in NSW, including a framework for a state-wide integrated waste infrastructure network.

Minister Upton made the announcement at today’s Meeting of Environment Ministers where she called on the Commonwealth to show leadership.

“NSW has consistently been at the forefront of waste avoidance and resource recovery in Australia.

“This is highlighted by the success of Return and Earn which has seen more than 1 billion drink containers recycled in its first year and the over $800 million Waste Less, Recycle More program.

“But this is also a national issue that we can’t tackle alone. NSW has provided in-principle support to the National Waste Policy and its aspirational targets.

“Harmonising regulation across states and territories will provide a level playing field for industry. NSW wants to see the Commonwealth take leadership on: 

  • A minimum waste levy across all Australian jurisdictions - this will take away the incentives for long distance waste transport. Long distance transportation of waste risks traffic incidents, congestion and heavy vehicle emissions.
  • A National Proximity Principle - with the key benefit being safer and more efficient waste disposal.
  • Minimum environmental standards at all landfills across Australia – to reduce risk of harm to human health and the environment.  

“If the Commonwealth is serious about tackling waste they will also need to put more money on the table so we can produce high-quality recycled materials, for manufacturing facilities to use recycled content to make products and funding to incentivise businesses to use new materials and increase the recycled content in their products.

“How we reduce waste and recycle materials continues to evolve and the waste and recycling sectors need a long-term vision to drive investment, innovation and improved resource recovery rates.

“We have an opportunity now to shape a national approach to waste. NSW will continue to show leadership and we look forward to working with all levels of government to ensure we have a truly national approach.”

                                                MEDIA: Alan Gale 0418 892 778