The Stakeholder Advisory Group that will co-design Queensland’s waste management strategy has held its first meeting in Brisbane.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the group would provide strategic advice to the Palaszczuk Government to help inform a comprehensive resource recovery, recycling and waste management strategy.
Among the issues before it were a report into the transport of waste into Queensland, led by Justice Peter Lyons and the Queensland Treasury Corporation report into economic opportunities in Queensland’s waste industry, Ms Enoch said.
“It is this consultative process that will help determine the most appropriate mechanisms for the waste strategy, including a waste levy that will have measures in place to avoid costs for Queensland households,” she said.
The Stakeholder Advisory Group consists of representatives from across the waste industry and key business groups, including Local Government Association of Queensland, Australian Council of Recycling, Waste Recycling Industry Association (Queensland), Waste Management Association of Australia, Sustainable Business Australia, Australian Industry Group, Chamber of Commerce Industry Queensland and Master Builders Association Queensland.
Ms Enoch said it was important to go through a collaborative and consultative process to develop the best framework for Queensland.
“Not only do we need to stop the interstate trucks, we also need to direct waste away from landfill and look at how we manage waste in our state for the long term,” she said.
Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said on Tuesday that the LGAQ would not accept a waste levy system that left households worse off.
Cr Jamieson said councils and the LGAQ would be insisting that all funds raised from the levy be channelled back to local governments to support new waste management solutions.
He said China’s decision to ban imports of certain recyclable materials was already impacting the existing business model for recyclable waste, with some councils starting to stockpile recyclable material and facing big losses of income.
“At the same time, we know the technology to progress to a true zero waste future now exists,” he said.
“Now is the time to invest in the infrastructure that can make this happen.”
Cr Jamieson said this must be done as a genuine partnership between the three tiers of government.