The Waste Authority considered and approved the draft 2020-21 business plan and budget and the supporting 2020–21 waste strategy action plan, subject to minor amendments. Both documents will be provided to the Minister for Environment by 29 May 2020 for his consideration.
The 2020–21 service level agreement between the Waste Authority and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation was approved by the Waste Authority. The agreement outlines a shared understanding of the services provided by the department, including staff costs to provide waste-related services to support the Waste Authority’s delivery of the Waste avoidance and resource recovery strategy 2030.
An update on the status of actions under the Waste avoidance and resource recovery action plan 2030 for the third quarter 2019–20 was discussed. The Waste Authority’s Program Risk and Performance Committee also considered the action plan at its meeting held on 22 April 2020. The majority of actions are on track, with some actions delayed due to COVID-19 impacts shifting immediate priorities.
The Waste Authority reviewed its risk register, outlining key risks associated with the delivery of the Waste avoidance and resource recovery strategy 2030 and the Waste avoidance and resource recovery action plan 2030. The Program Risk and Performance Committee also considered the risk register at its meeting held on 22 April 2020, noting the register included updates in relation to COVID-19 issues and forward planning currently underway.
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the delivery of some projects funded under the Community and Industry Engagement (CIE) grant program. The Waste Authority noted that all active CIE funding recipients have been contacted, with the majority reporting current or potential COVID-19 impacts. The immediate priority of waste education programs has reduced for some stakeholders, while others have been affected by delays with equipment delivery, installation and operations. The Waste Authority Infinity Awards 2020 gala dinner planned for 6 May has been cancelled.
The Waste Authority noted that a six-month extension has been provided to local governments to submit their waste management plans, which are now required by March 2021. The consultation period on waste reform papers including: Closing the loop: Waste reforms for a circular economy and the Review of the waste levy have also been extended by two months, now closing on 15 July 2020.
The Waste Authority approved and forwarded to the Minister for Environment for his consideration a food organics garden organics (FOGO) rollout plan. The FOGO rollout plan will assist in facilitating market development for FOGO-derived products; facilitate actions to match processing capacity with expected FOGO generation rates; and maintain a rollout schedule of local governments’ FOGO services to inform planning. The FOGO rollout plan contains themes matched to the FOGO virtual forums, including FOGO processing, local government services, engagement and education, and foundation actions.
The Minister for Environment recently announced funding for local governments to support the transition to better practice, high-performing three-bin FOGO kerbside collection services. $20 million will be available over six years for three-bin FOGO kerbside collections provided to households. A copy of the Minister’s media release can be found here.
The Waste Authority approved a schedule of formal program evaluations for 2020–21 and the next four financial years. A final report on the Waste Wise Schools program (currently being independently evaluated) is expected to be received by the end of June 2020. Recommendations from this evaluation will be reviewed and implemented throughout 2020-21. It was agreed that the Household Hazardous Waste program will be the next formal evaluation to occur in 2020-21.
A five-year funding agreement between the Waste Authority and the Keep Australia Beautiful Council (KABC) for 2020–25 was approved by the Waste Authority. The funding agreement details specific litter prevention and recycling programs to be delivered by the KABC in line with the Waste avoidance and resource recovery strategy 2030 and the Litter prevention strategy 2020–25.
An update on the behaviour change campaign was noted by the Waste Authority. This includes research to determine initial program focus and a staged program design. The design and delivery of a suite of creative assets is expected to be completed by the end of May 2020.
The Waste Authority noted the most recent developments of the Council of Australian Governments waste export ban.
The next meeting of the Waste Authority will be held on 24 June 2020.