Publications archive - Waste and recycling
Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.
Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.
Some documents are available as PDF files. You will need a PDF reader to view PDF files.
List of PDF readers
If you are unable to access a publication, please contact us to organise a suitable alternative format.
Government response to final report
Department of the Environment and Water Resources, July 2007
The Commonwealth Government ('the Commonwealth') has limited constitutional powers to engage directly in domestic waste management issues; responsibility rests largely with state and territory governments ('the states') and local governments.
The role of the Commonwealth has evolved in recent years, however, and it now has a strategic involvement in waste policy development, with a particular focus on developing consistent national approaches for key product sectors. The Commonwealth has the leading role in waste policy where it relates to Australia's international commitments for the movement of hazardous waste.
The primary forum for interaction between the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions on waste matters is the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC).
The Treasurer and the former Minister for the Environment and Heritage announced the terms of reference for an inquiry by the Productivity Commission into waste generation and resource efficiency in October 2005. The inquiry received 273 submissions and held public hearings around Australia. The final report, Waste Management, was provided to the Commonwealth on 20 October 2006, and tabled in Parliament on 19 December 2006.
The inquiry was not intended to cover wastes that exhibit hazardous characteristics that pose an immediate and unacceptable risk of harm to human beings or the environment.
This document outlines the Commonwealth's response to the Productivity Commission's final report on the inquiry into Waste Generation and Resource Efficiency.