Legal Practice

Inquiry into Waste and Recycling Industry in Australia

The submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communication's Inquiry into Waste and Recycling Industry in Australia was prepared by the Australian Environmental and Planning Law Group (AEPLG) of the Legal Practice Section.

Overview of Submission

1. A rapid increase to the landfill levy in Western Australia has resulted in the stockpiling of waste in the Perth metropolitan area.

2. The Western Australia (WA) Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has put on hold its policy framework on the use of waste-derived materials following a recent decision of the WA Court of Appeal relating to the application of the landfill levy to a waste recycler.

3. DWER's proposed reform of the waste regime is unlikely to encourage the use of waste-derived materials in WA. A consistent, national approach is required to support the Australian waste recycling industry.

4. Inconsistency in landfill levies and over-aggressive waste management regulations can create increases in illegal and environmentally irresponsible activities. A consistent, national approach would reduce such incentives.

5. An approach lead by the federal government should reinforce the polluter pays principle in waste management and especially with respect to illegal dumping.

6. In designing a national approach to waste management, the government should ensure that the standards and obligations in such an approach can be easily integrated with State land use planning policies and frameworks.

You can read the full submission below.

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