VWMA to tackle rising insurance costs

Thursday, 02 August, 2018

VWMA to tackle rising insurance costs

Responding to concerns around increases to insurance premiums and navigating an increasingly complex and changing regulatory environment, the Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) has begun work to develop a package of support to tackle rising insurance costs for its members.

Currently, the sector is reacting to the changing regulatory environment around fire risk and management; however, the VWMA proposes to build capacity and capability across the sector so collectively these risks can be managed together. It will be an approach that is about translating the complicated regulatory environment to ‘what does this mean for my business or my site’.

Experts across a range of disciplines — including regulation, social research, insurance, and communications and marketing — endorse an approach led by associations and speak of the benefits in tackling challenges as a collective. The package will include four core components:

  • Training, tools and resources: Building the capability and capacity of members to identify and manage risks at their sites and will include fit-for-purpose approaches based on the size, material types or other considerations specific to a site.
  • Information, webinars and access to experts: Information, workshops and webinars on topics and issues of relevance or immerging threats/challenges to the sector.
  • Legal packages: Ongoing support around legal compliance to help navigate an increasingly complicated regulatory environment.
  • Communication and engagement package: Engagement with stakeholders outside the sector about what the association is doing to tackle issues around stockpiling and fire management, including engagement with insurance companies, landlords and industrial parks.

The package was launched earlier this week at the VWMA State Conference, which saw Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio address delegates about the Victorian Government’s waste agenda — including the recently announced $37 million Recycling Industry Strategic Plan, the broader challenges for the sector and Environment Protection Reform.

Over 130 delegates attended the VWMA State Conference, held in the Yarra Valley.

“At our state conference we heard from insurance experts who advocated for industry approaches to the challenges facing the sector,” said VWMA Executive Officer Mark Smith. “Rising insurance costs are currently a universal problem plaguing operators across the country.

“We do have a path forward on how we can tackle these problems. The role of the association over the coming months will be to socialise and build support for the package and we are keen to hear from anyone who wants to add value to this discussion.

“The VWMA has been engaged with other state associations and the NWRIC around this package and has received support for what we’ve proposed. If successful, the package is something that could be rolled out nationally, benefiting waste and recycling operators in other states.

“Perceptions are that we don’t manage stockpiles effectively, which we don’t believe is true. These are complicated problems and many stakeholders (outside our sector) have a role to play, including landlords, councils and insurance companies. We need to talk and work with others to change perceptions of our sector. This package is going to meaningfully start those conversations.

“We are optimistic the government sees value in industry-led approaches to tackling these challenges. It’s about a shared responsibility and we’ll take this formally through relevant government agencies.”

Top image: Victorian Energy and Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio with VWMA President Chris Ryan and Executive Officer Mark Smith.

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