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March 2, 2010

Inside Waste Weekly

Calls for levy rise and green jobs in Vic

In the lead up to Victoria’s November 27 state election, the Boomerang Alliance of councils and green groups has committed “to campaigning for an effective and comprehensive ‘Green Jobs Policy’ as a central plank of all the major political parties’ economic and environment platforms”. It said politicians have been quick to jump on the green economy bandwagon, but slow to deliver any actual progress.

Friends of the Earth, the Total Environment Centre, Environment Victoria and the Boomerang Alliance have joined forces to push for Victoria to become “Australia’s green jobs state”.

The alliance has criticised the government for not delivering on the landmark Green Gold Rush report from the Australian Conservation Foundation and Australian Council of Trade Unions, which in 2008 outlined how strong environmental and industry policy could deliver 500,000 new ‘Green Jobs’ across Australia.

“Governments and political parties immediately jumped on the band wagon, talking up their prospects of delivering this future. Yet to date, we have seen no comprehensive policy approach to deliver this huge environmental and economic boom,” the Boomerang Alliance pointed out.

The green jobs package it has proposed makes recommendations in areas including renewable energy, as well as recycling.

The Alliance called for the state government to increase landfill levies from July 1, 2010 and invest the revenue this provides into recycling via grants for investments in new recycling infrastructure. It wants levy rebates granted for residual wastes disposed from best practice recycling facilities.

The Alliance points out a $30/tonne landfill levy will create a fund of some $116 million per year to invest in recycling.

It has identified at least 12 ‘major proposals’ to develop new recycling facilities that are currently in various stages of development across Victoria, which it said could create at least 1,900 new jobs if they go ahead.

Victorian Greens member Colleen Hartland, meanwhile, used the green jobs launch to announce she will re-introduce her legislation for a 10c container deposit legislation (CDL) scheme if re-elected.

In a speech to parliament after the launch, she claimed "an overwhelming majority of Victorians want a returnable deposit on drink bottles, cans and cartons".

The Alliance adds that packaging recycling is the largest segment of the Victorian recycling industry, which already employs some 7,000 people.

“The new materials collected (in excess of 4 billion containers per year) via a deposit and handling fee will inject at least $200 million per year into the industry and create around 1,200 new jobs, for minimal cost to consumers (less than half a cent a container),” the Alliance claims.

The major green industries the Boomerang Alliance believes can deliver new jobs in Victoria are:

  • Renewable energy: 4,000 new jobs in 2010
  • Recycling: 3,100 new jobs by 2014
  • Solar water heating: 1,500 new jobs by 2020
  • Energy and water efficiency: 6,900 new jobs over five years.
(Courtesy of WME’s Environment Management News)


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