Peak waste group criticises Qld Budget


Thursday, 13 June, 2024

Peak waste group criticises Qld Budget

The peak body for Australia’s waste and resource recovery (WARR) industry has stated that the Queensland Budget represents a missed opportunity for the sector.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR), Gayle Sloan, said that while the WARR sector appreciated the significant future funding in the Budget, this funding would not materialise until 2027–28. “The challenge is getting the policy and economic settings right now to be able to invest well in Queensland in future years,” she said.

Sloan said it was also of concern that the government had agreed to top up some regional councils’ waste levy repayments back to 100% over the next two years, potentially meaning that the Budget funding for these years amounted to subsidies rather than investment dollars. “How can we drive resource recovery and investment in Queensland when subsidies like this are reinstated?” she said.

“The fact that Queensland is behind on seven of its own nine WARR targets1 and that the Budget provides no urgent action to address this is deeply disappointing,” Sloan said, adding that the WARR sector should be a green jobs creator for Queensland, with resources used to the maximum degree.

“Further, when Victoria had taken the lead and looked to harmonise levies down the east coast, it’s disappointing to see no adjustment to the waste levy beyond forecasts in this Budget. The current Queensland levy is some $55 lower than neighbouring NSW,” she continued.

“Levy harmonisation across the eastern seaboard is a vital step to move the WARR industry forward by not only putting a clear price on valuable material that should be recovered where it is generated, but also to stop material moving between states.”

Sloan also highlighted the lack of obvious funding to address the current battery fire issues faced by the waste industry. “Queensland is leading the national work on this issue after the meeting of environment ministers last November, but whilst a national strategy is important, what is equally, if not more important is funding now,” she said.

“With battery fires occurring daily across the country, this crisis is placing our workers, trucks and infrastructure at risk. Items with embedded batteries, such as vapes, toys and electric toothbrushes, currently have no safe disposal method.

“The WARR sector was hoping Queensland would use the Budget to lead the nation by funding drop-off points for items with embedded batteries to get them out of bins where they pose a huge fire risk. The government has failed to act on this urgent need,” Sloan concluded.

1. Queensland Draft Review Report Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy, p 4.

Image credit: iStock.com/wildpixel

Updated: 18 June 2024

Related News

Australia failing to act on alternative proteins

When it comes to government support for alternative proteins, Australia is lagging behind other...

Sustainability rating tool for small infrastructure projects

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council has released a digital rating tool designed to help...

Qld harnesses quantum tech for a sustainable future

Queensland's Miles government has announced a $50m quantum technology program geared at...


  • All content Copyright © 2024 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd