It was terrific to be in Mount Martha today to see crumb rubber asphalt being sprayed onto a road surface under the supervision of Tyre Stewardship Australia.
Managing what we do with tyres that have reached the end of their useable life is an environmental challenge, which is why we are working with the tyre industry to combat this problem.
In December 2015, Australia’s Environment Ministers were informed of a significant decrease in domestic tyre recycling.
This had implications for the health of our environment and ignored the significant resource 51 million tyres could generate for industry in Australia.
The Coalition Government has put a national project in place to develop a market strategy for end-of-life tyres with financial support from the Queensland, Victorian, NSW and Western Australian governments. This initiative creates new industries, boosts jobs and improves our road surfaces though an innovative use of a waste product.
Crumb rubber is created by grinding tyres down into small granules, which is then refined into a powder and added to asphalt or spray seal for roads.
The crumb rubber has a number of advantages over traditional road surfacing, making the bitumen more flexible and more resistant to cracking which means it lasts longer and performs better over time.
Not only is it a more environmentally friendly alternative, it also helps make the roads quieter.
Today I have seen tangible results from this project – which includes research to increase the uptake of crumb rubber from recycled tyres – with crumb rubber asphalt laid on Nepean Highway in Mount Martha.
Crumb rubber from end-of-life tyres is already widely used in Victoria and around Australia on road surfaces. These projects will assist in expanding the use of crumb rubber in road surfacing and realising further benefits this technique can provide for making our roads safer, quieter and longer-lasting while reducing tyre wastage.
In co-leading this project with Queensland, Victoria is making great progress in working with other states and industry to create viable market development opportunities for end-of-life tyres through research projects and technological innovation.
The project is being undertaken in partnership with Tyre Stewardship Australia and the findings will be shared with all Australia’s states and territories.
The Australian Government announced the formation of Tyre Stewardship Australia and the national Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme in January 2014 with the support of all state governments.
The tyre industry understands that it makes sense to make a business out of protecting the environment. Without a healthy environment, we cannot sustain a healthy economy.