Ten years after reforming South Australia’s waste sector and becoming a world leader in the field, the State Government is working with industry and the community to further our advantage.
Releasing a discussion paper on industry regulatory reform today, Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the waste management and resource recovery industry contributes more than $500 million a year to Gross State Product (GSP) and sustains about 4,800 full time jobs.
“South Australia has established itself as a leader in this area; our recycling rate is among the world’s best, and in terms of GSP contribution the sector is greater than the fishing and aquaculture industry and similar to the air transport sector,” he said.
“Our work over the past decade has driven major changes in waste management in this state, and today’s release of the discussion paper is to encourage feedback about the current state of the waste industry, and whether further reform is needed to expand this sector and increase jobs.
“We have already responded to industry feedback and transformed Zero Waste SA into Green Industries SA (GISA), who will assist the sector’s expansion while continuing to reduce waste in South Australia.
“Studies have shown that diverting waste from landfill helps creates jobs, as evidenced by what has happened in our state over the past 10 years.”
In 2009 Access Economics estimated that for every 10,000 tonnes of waste that is recycled, 9.2 direct full time equivalent jobs are created, as opposed to 2.8 if sent to landfill.
The release of the discussion paper coincides with Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith’s leading of the State Government’s largest trade delegation to India, where a proposal which could improve Delhi’s waste management was welcomed.
“Delhi is a city with a population of 25 million people and disposes of more than 18,000 tonnes of waste each day to landfills that are now full,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“Officials from Green Industries SA and KESAB have met with mayors and senior staff in North and South Delhi and agreed to work on a proposal for further engagement.
“This is another positive step towards the State Government’s long-term goal to drive economic outcomes through a partnership with India.”
Minister Hunter said South Australia’s expertise had been built on successful partnering between government, industry and education.
“I am excited about the opportunities to build on South Australia’s expertise with Delhi, and look forward to realising the obvious benefits working with our Indian counterparts could bring,” he said.
The State Government has also announced a funding programme available for projects to help industry in South Australia improve their waste management through innovation.
Through the Office of Green Industries SA, the Innovation Grants Programme will this year make available up to $100,000 for businesses to boost innovation in technology, infrastructure and systems in the waste sector.
Applications open until Friday, 18 September at http://www.zerowaste.sa.gov.au/innovation-grants
A summary of the stakeholder consultations on the formation of Green Industries SA can be found at http://www.zerowaste.sa.gov.au/green-industries-sa/green-industries-sa-consultation-responses