House debates

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Questions without Notice

Waste Management and Recycling

2:46 pm

Photo of Angie BellAngie Bell (Moncrieff, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for the Environment. Will the minister update the House on how the Morrison government is supporting Australian jobs and our economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession through major environmental initiatives in waste and recycling?

Photo of Sussan LeySussan Ley (Farrer, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Moncrieff for her question on this government's actions to protect our environment and support the creation of new and innovative products and jobs by reprocessing waste. Each state and territory, including the member's home state of Queensland, will invest with the Commonwealth in projects on the ground—job-creating projects—thus leveraging $600 million of new investment in recycling infrastructure. Not only will this divert over 10 million tonnes of resources from landfill; it will create more than 10,000 jobs through the largest renewal of the waste and recycling industry capability in our history.

Part of what's on our agenda is product stewardship. What this means is reducing waste when you manufacture a product, sell that product and then collect that used product and make something new from it. In Australia, it's about industries coming together and finding solutions to reduce the impact of products on the environment. I want to see more schemes like MobileMuster, Paintback and Cartridges 4 Planet Ark.

Think of child car-seats, for example. Currently, for the nearly 1.4 million car seats that are sold annually in Australia, there are two options when they near the end of their usable life. Either they continue to be used, risking the lives of young children, or they end up in landfill. Now, for the first time, Australian manufacturers and retailers are coming together to tackle that problem through a product stewardship code. We have well and truly stepped into the waste space. In 2009, the federal government spent $30 million on waste. Since 2019, we've invested $436 million.

I visited BINGO Industries in Eastern Creek, who are constructing a second materials-processing centre at a cost of $70 million. They're helping to close the loop in aid of transitioning to a circular economy. This will possibly be the largest and most advanced facility of its type in the world. It will process both building and demolition waste and commercial and industrial waste, and it will achieve recovery rates in excess of 90 per cent. The recycling industry is supporting our approach, with the BINGO chairman saying, 'We're very supportive of the government's Recycling Modernisation Fund and Modern Manufacturing Initiative. They provide much-needed focus on the recycling centre and they have provided us with the confidence to invest.'

Across the whole government, it's a team effort, whether it be the work the assistant minister for waste reduction is doing, whether it be the dynamic reef envoy determined to keep plastic out of the ocean or whether it be the member for Moncrieff in the work she's doing in her electorate to promote recycling. The Morrison government is creating jobs and economic opportunity.