Environment Pillar Update

Latest Pillar Activity
Environment Pillar

A meeting of the G21 Environment Pillar took place on November 18, an update has yet to be provided.

The Pillar met on 16 September 2019 at Barwon Water. Focus of the meeting was Waste Management.

Topics covered:

Barwon Water update on Water for Our Future – Tracey Slatter, Barwon Water
Tracey provided an overview of Barwon Water’s “Water for Our Future” program which was launched at the G21 Forum on 30 August. The program seeks to engage the wider community in developing a vision and ideas for how water will be sourced and managed into the future, tackling the challenge of a hotter and drier climate, which is resulting in less rainfall and reduced inflows into local catchments and reservoirs. A major water resource augmentation is required (10-20GL/annum, representing up to 50% of current annual consumption). With reducing rainfall, it is likely this will involve diversifying into more non-rainfall dependent supplies.

Barwon Water is seeking to take the community on the journey and have their support for the solution, recognising any solution will have significant cost.

Visit the website waterfuture.barwonwater.vic.gov.au or talk face-to-face to the team at community events (listed on the site).

What’s happening in the region – Belinda Bennett and Philippa Bakes, BSWWRRG

Belinda provided the context to the meeting by giving an overview of the BSWWRRG, waste volumes and composition, and challenges in the region.Belinda outlined the issues that led to the closure of SKM recycling and the impact on the G21 council’s recycling services, as well as issues affecting the recycling sector more broadly across Victoria and Australia.

Philippa outlined what is being done to address the waste management needs in the region. Implementation of the DELWP/SV Recycling Industry Strategic Plan (2018) has been accelerated in areas in response to the issues that have arisen in 2019. This includes the Circular Economy Policy and review of kerbside systems. Other activities such as the Parliamentary Inquiry into Recycling and Waste Management are in progress. BSWWRG are looking at short term responses in G21 region, as well as developing longer term regional solutions through the BSW Regional Recycling Action Plan. Philippa also summarised the findings of the G21 C&I organic waste report, and outlined the E-waste ban, plastic bag ban and recent and upcoming waste and resource recovery events. BSWWRRG has launched a new website reduce-recycle.com.au

CoGG Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy – Agnes Tong, CoGG
Agnes provided an overview of the process of developing CoGG’s waste and resource recovery strategy, including initial inputs from community and stakeholder consultation. Council is currently working on draft strategy, which will be released for public consultation.

Aspire Online Recycling Platform – Cameron McKenzie, Aspire
Cameron presented on the Aspire, which was developed by CSIRO and has now been commercialised and is moving to independent ownership. The online platform provides a mechanism to match waste material producers with materials users, increasing recycling, diverting waste from landfill and moving toward a circular economy. Increasing the number of businesses using the platform will further improve outcomes. Visit the website Aspire.com.au.

Supporting the transition to a circular economy – Andrea Pape, Sustainability Victoria
Andrea presented on how Sustainability Victoria (SV) is supporting the transition to a circular economy, and also outlined SV’s broader role and initiatives around waste and resource recovery. SV is developing Victoria’s Circular Economy policy. The policy, due to be released by end 2019, will establish goals, and will also clarify the role of waste to energy. At an on-ground level, SV provides support to Victorian businesses, households, local government, communities and schools through grants and funding. investment and finance support, data and market intelligence, guidance and advice.

Topics to be covered for the remainder of the year include:

  • IWM Northern and Western Growth Areas (18 November meeting).