Council has voted to escalate its calls for the federal and state
governments to take urgent action in response to the current recycling crisis.
After an Urgent Business item raised by Mayor Bruce Harwood during the 30 July council meeting gained the council’s support, the mayor will now issue a series
of letters requesting specific actions from the state and federal governments.
letter to the Federal Minister for the
Environment requesting that the Australian Sustainable Packaging Guidelines be
mandated as a matter of priority;
- A letter to the
Victorian Premier calling for the state government to introduce a Container
Deposit Scheme as a matter of urgency; and
- A further letter
to the Premier calling for the state government to immediately publish
guidelines for councils to apply for funding from the State Sustainability Fund
that has been established by the EPA Landfill levy.
Council has also requested that City of Greater Geelong CEO Martin
Cutter produce a report by September detailing options and costs for
alternatives to collect and process recycled materials at the various recycling
and recovery centres in Victoria.
Further, Council has noted and given its support to the state government’s
announcement that it will develop a Circular Economy Policy and Action Plan, to
be released in 2019.
Council has asked that City staff actively promote an opportunity for the
Greater Geelong community to provide input into this policy, and prepare a
submission to the government.
The measures agreed by Council as part of the Urgent Business item come
following recycling contractor SKM Recycling’s announcement on 26 July that it
is no longer able to accept materials.
The City has previously endorsed the Municipal Association of Victoria’s
‘Rescue Our Recycling’ Action Plan and is undertaking steps required by local
As stated in Mayor Harwood’s Urgent Business notice, the state government is
reported to hold more than half a billion dollars in the Sustainability Fund,
which has the potential to fix this crisis – for example, by investing in
recycling crisis is a state and Australia-wide problem that needs urgent action
at all levels of government.
Cr Jim Mason, Deputy Chair, Environment and
The state government has the ability to make a major impact by investing the
huge sum of money in its Sustainability Fund into genuine solutions. This
includes releasing money to councils so that we can implement initiatives at a
As the only state in Australia without at least a commitment to a Container
Deposit Scheme, the state government must also catch up to the rest of the
country by getting this vital measure off the ground as soon as possible.
Evidence has shown that Container Deposit Schemes are a highly effective way to
recoup plastic, aluminium and glass.
Authorities at a state and national
level have been aware of this impending issue for a long time and have not
taken appropriate action. We now need them to show genuine leadership,
especially in relation to the circular economy.
In particular, we need policies on uses of recycled glass, plastic and rubber
and the establishment of viable industries for these products in this country.