Wednesday, 17 February 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for the Environment. Will the minister please update the House on how the Morrison government is focusing on caring for our country through measures such as tackling waste and protecting, preserving and enhancing our natural environment?
I thank the member for Fairfax for his question and commend him on his leadership on the Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment. One of the strong focuses of the Morrison government is to care for our country, reflecting the deep connection Australians have for our natural environment. We're doing this in multiple ways, from recycling to revitalising our national parks and looking after our incredible wildlife.
Australians want to be confident in their recycling that everything collected is remanufactured, turned into something new, something with value and not buried in landfill or shipped overseas to become another country's problem. That's why this government is leading a billion-dollar transformation of the waste and recycling industry that will protect our environment, devote over 10 million tonnes from landfill and create more than 10,000 jobs.
We said we were going to ban the export of waste plastic, glass, paper and tyres, and we have. Shortly, I hope to be visiting my neighbour in the electorate of Mallee to see a Recycling Modernisation Fund project, which supports the construction of glass processing and sorting and, again, adds to regional jobs.
We said we were going to help industry minimise waste and give new life to old products such as school uniforms and tradie uniforms, and we are. Last week I stood in a warehouse in Macquarie Park with the member for Bennelong, with old and discarded school uniforms all around us, listening to new ways that we're turning those textiles, pulling apart the polymers and fibres, into new products such as desks, pet swags, outdoor furniture or new material. We announced funding to support Circular Threads, a new scheme to deal with the over 31 tonnes per person of discarded textiles per year.
Caring for our country is also caring for our Commonwealth national parks, and the release of the Kakadu master plan a few days ago starts an exciting chapter for Kakadu. We will see new experiences and greater access to these sites, visitor services hubs, new accommodation for rangers and tourists, upgrades to roads, boardwalks, viewing platforms and amenities, bringing this World Heritage site to the world and to our domestic tourists. We are deeply committed to not just preserving the natural environment for all Australians but enhancing it for future generations.
Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper and, in adding to an answer yesterday in relation to the member for Kennedy, I table a statement from the Secretary of the Department of Defence concerning the matters raised in that question.