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Member for Western Victoria Region, Bev McArthur has condemned the Andrews Labor Government for its inaction in response to Victoria’s waste crisis.

Company records of the now insolvent recycling company, SKM Corporate, have shown that Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio MP, was fully aware that the company was storing thousands of tonnes of waste in warehouses at the beginning of the waste crisis, in 2017.

The Minister and the Andrews Labor Government have known about Victoria’s waste crisis for two years, but have not addressed it in any capacity.

Bev McArthur said “During these two years the Minister could have facilitated the construction of waste-to-energy, bio-mass plants and recycle enterprises. These are already in operation in other parts of the world.”

“Instead, the Minister has been asleep-at-the-wheel.”

“The State Government should have backed the private sector to solve our waste crisis, by investing in new waste-to-energy and recycling facilities or other avenues of waste disposal.”

“This budget, the State Government had an ideal opportunity to both tackle the waste crisis and revitalise a regional economy by investing in the Ballarat All Waste Interchange Facility proposal (AWIF), which would have would have delivered dramatic environmental and economic benefits across the region.”

The government failed to deliver funds for the AWIF project which required state government investment to proceed.
Victoria’s Sustainability Fund has collected $511 million in landfill levies, while local government and their ratepayers have borne the financial cost of waste collection and disposal.

Bev McArthur asked “what is this money for, if not for ensuring our State’s waste is appropriately dealt with and developing a sustainable recycling industry?”

Bev McArthur said “the best time to begin solving Victoria’s waste crisis was in 2017 when Minister D’Ambrosio was made aware of SMK’s inability to deal with their waste, but now the best time is today.”

“We need to tackle the crisis of today with a sustainable plan for the future. Waste-to-energy facilities will reduce our waste, create vital regional jobs, and generate the power and other products from the process that this State needs,” she concluded.

16 August 2019