Waste management pulse check
LGAQ Waste Forum – a local government ‘pulse check’, regional collaboration and waste data
Last week saw over 80 participants attend the LGAQ Waste Forum in Brisbane where representatives including mayors, councillors, CEOs and waste managers came together from 34 Queensland councils to discuss all things waste and resource recovery.
In hosting this event, the LGAQ was fortunate to bring together a truly diverse range of presenters including the Department of Environment and Science (DES), along with a range of council representatives and industry experts: discussing emerging challenges and opportunities for our sector.
It was a great opportunity to get a hands-on ‘pulse check’ on the current state of play in Queensland following some very significant changes over the past 12-18 months. Discussions centred around:
- the waste levy and strategy
- working in regional partnerships
- navigating investment and funding decisions
- the importance of benchmarking waste data
- illegal dumping activities
- organics, and
- the use of recycled content.
There was clear consensus that solutions across Queensland will need to vary as ‘one size does not fit all’ - with regional challenges and solutions needing to be very different to those of larger SEQ and coastal councils.
A highlight of the Forum was the local government panel discussion which provided updates and insights across a number of Queensland regions and stimulated excellent dialogue on key advocacy work moving forward.
The use of ‘live surveying’ with Forum participants highlighted the need to address the current recycling crisis and the need to treat waste as a resource through finding sustainable markets and solutions. It was pleasing to see the value that councils place on working in regional collaboration and expressing the importance that size does matter when it comes to finding waste and resource recovery solutions.
The Forum also reiterated the role of councils and that they often find themselves at the end of the pipeline with waste management. What is clear is the need to rethink the ‘front end’ of the pipeline through extended producer responsibilities, product stewardship, packaging laws and sustainable procurement.
Yet again, the very popular forum was an extremely valuable opportunity for sharing information between councils, and the Department, on this very topical agenda for local councils.
In summarizing the outcomes from the forum, Greg Hallam reinforced the commitment for the LGAQ to host the next waste forum in February 2020 and looks forward to these ongoing discussions and progressing this resource recovery journey.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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