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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

19 December 2006

Productivity Commission waste report released today


The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said the Australian Government would closely examine the Productivity Commission’s final report on waste management tabled in Parliament today.

The Commission’s Terms of Reference were to examine and report on current and potential resource efficiency in Australia, in particular issues associated with solid, non-hazardous waste, including municipal waste (such as household collections, electrical and consumer items), commercial and industrial waste and construction and demolition waste.

“The Commission has identified a number of areas where it thinks Australia can improve the way it manages its waste,” Senator Campbell said.

“We will look closely at the report’s recommendations to see what improvements can be made.”

Some of the issues addressed by the Commission include the need for better national waste data, improved community education about the nature of waste problems and the need for a sound analysis of the costs and benefits of strategies to address those problems. The Commission has also made a number of recommendations about landfill management.

“Next year is shaping to be an important year for waste policy issues, including plastic bags and recycling of tyres, televisions and computers,” Senator Campbell said.

“Although the Australian Government does not have direct responsibility for the day-to-day management of non-hazardous waste, it does work closely with state and territory governments to achieve national results on matters of national significance.

“With this in mind, the Government will listen to the views of state, territory and local governments on the Commission’s recommendations. It will also consult with industry and community representatives and environment groups in coming months.”

Senator Campbell said the Australian Government would respond to the recommendations of the Commission’s report by mid-2007.

The report is available on the Productivity Commission web site at http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiry/waste/index.html.

Media contact:
Rob Broadfield (Senator Campbell's office) 08 9421 1755 or 0409 493 902

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