The Andrews Labor Government is calling for an urgent national funding plan to ensure the states are ready for the waste export ban when it is implemented next year.

The National Meeting of Environment Ministers in Adelaide today reached an agreement to ban the export of particular categories of waste from 1 July 2020 with a phased approach.

Ministers have agreed waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres that have not been processed into a value-add material should be subject to the export ban.

The phase out should be completed by the following dates:

  • All waste glass by July 2020
  • Mixed waste plastics by July 2021
  • All whole tyres including baled tyres by December 2021
  • Remaining waste products, including mixed paper and cardboard, by no later than 30 June 2022.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio is urging the Federal Government to provide capital investment in waste and recycling infrastructure to ensure the fast approaching ban does not result in stockpiling.

The Labor Government is already working closely with industry, local governments and the community to address current disruptions to the recycling system and build a more resilient waste sector.

Victoria has built a strong foundation for the transitioning waste industry, through funding of more than $135 million over the last four years in the waste and resource recovery sector.

This record investment includes over $26 million invested through the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund.

Through this fund the Government has already invested in 65 infrastructure projects to build capability and capacity to recover high quality materials from collection, sorting, recycling and processing of materials.

However in preparation for the export ban further investment is needed, and the Commonwealth must play its part to ensure the markets and infrastructure are in place to support these changes.

Victoria has led the way in modernising the waste industry, as the first Australian jurisdiction to implement a comprehensive, long-term waste and resource recovery infrastructure planning framework.

Victoria is also developing a circular economy policy that will build on the State’s strong record of continuously improving waste management and resource recovery capabilities.

While the Victorian Government calls for funding it is sitting on over $100 million in Waste Levy funding that it has inflicted on community members dumping their rubbish. To ask the Federal Government for funding when the State's record of being able to deliver projects is appalling would seem a strange ask.