Waste Management

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (15:08): My question is to the Minister for Environment and Water. Following the COAG meeting on 9 August 2019, can the minister update the house on how South Australia and the Marshall Liberal government are leading Australia's management of waste and the resource recovery sector?

The Hon. D.J. SPEIRS (Black—Minister for Environment and Water) (15:09): It is always good to be able to update the house on South Australia's approach to waste management. Of course, I always have to refrain from making comments about Labor's 16 years in power when it comes to talking about waste and instead focus on this very important industry that creates so many jobs here in South Australia.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. D.J. SPEIRS: We know that on 9 August the Prime Minister made it very clear that he wants Australia as a nation to lift its game when it comes to waste management. I believe the Prime Minister had been looking at what we were doing in South Australia and seeing that historically, over many years, South Australia really has been able to create a very productive, very valuable sector around waste management. It is a sector that creates jobs, a sector that innovates and a sector that has a long way to go and in which South Australia can certainly lead this nation, if not the world.

At that COAG meeting, the Prime Minister agreed, along with premiers, to build Australia's capacity to generate high-value recycled commodities and associated demand as a part of establishing a timetable to ban the export of plastic waste, paper, glass and tyres. The Prime Minister put a line in the sand, saying he doesn't want to see that happen anymore. He recognises the challenges that that poses for other nations, often developing countries, and he also recognises the opportunity that we have in Australia to create jobs out of a truly circular economy.

That is something that South Australia has been able to do for many years, and we are continuing to apply effort and resources to create that circular economy. We know that for every 10,000 tonnes of material that avoids landfill and is recycled, composted or re-used, we create more than nine extra jobs, whereas for the equivalent material going to landfill, it is only two extra jobs. We have great opportunity here. We have a great capacity in South Australia to grow this industry.

I believe that working with the federal government, building on our heritage and our culture in this area, South Australia can become the epicentre for waste management, for resource recovery, for recycling, for re-use and for composting nationwide. There is no doubt that our state, this government—the Marshall Liberal government—is putting up its hand and saying we want to be part of the nationwide move and we want to ensure that many of those jobs come here.

We have some great success stories here. A few months ago, the Premier and I were down at Recycling Plastics Australia at Kilburn, looking at the opportunity they have there to not only take waste plastic from South Australia but actually bring it from other states to process it here, creating jobs and creating a circular process around the recycling of plastic, and giving companies and private sector organisations the opportunity to say to their customers that their products are truly circular.

We have lots of these examples here in South Australia. It was great just a couple of weeks ago to be able to announce $750,000 in partnership with the start-up organisation Innovyz to support small businesses getting off the ground with innovative approaches to waste management. There is a real future for this state and I look forward to being able to update the house on how we are moving forward with this.

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