THE House Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources recently tabled its report, From Rubbish to Resources: Building a Circular Economy.
Chair of the Committee, Barnaby Joyce MP, said, "This report addresses the dilemma in some way that the rubbish a nation creates in 2020 must be effectively, efficiently and sustainably dealt with by the nation that creates it. Finding big old holes in the ground to throw it in is a poor reflection of a nation that wishes to present itself as a clever country."
A key finding of the Committee was that Australia must be effective in delivering a unified approach across states and territories when it comes to waste management, and that the aim of a circular economy is to essentially ‘design out waste’.
The Committee has made 24 recommendations including that the Commonwealth Government, in consultation with state and territory governments, implement a pathway to a predominantly national circular economy. This pathway should pay attention to the design and composition of products to enable the greatest capacity for end of life recycling, and consider regulation and incentives to encourage greater repair, reuse, recycling and recovery of materials.
The Committee also looked to maximising the opportunities offered by rural and regional communities. It has recommended that the Federal Government prioritise its coordination and leadership by assessing the potential of rural and regional towns to manage and process waste, and by assisting with investment in the necessary infrastructure to support a local industry.’
A copy of the report is on the Committee’s website.