The Government is fixing Labor’s mess with an overhaul of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme and has today released the initial findings of a review into the flawed scheme.
The Government initiated the review in September when serious concerns with the state of e-waste management in Australia came to light.
The scheme was created by the previous federal Labor governments. We didn’t create the problem but we are determined to fix it to ensure the scheme’s long-term sustainability.
Significant flaws in the scheme’s design are hurting social enterprises which run recycling operations – many of which employ disabled workers.
The scheme’s current design creates a ‘boom and bust’ scenario for the industry and allows states to shirk their e-waste recycling obligations, with the burden falling on social enterprises.
The review paper released today seeks comments on proposes changes to the scheme that would see an increase in e-waste recycling in Australia and create a more stable and dynamic e-waste recycling sector.
Specifically, the review proposes:
• Increasing targets for industry funded recycling from 35 per cent to 50 per cent from 1 July 2015
• Greater engagement of state, territory and local governments in e-waste recycling services
• Industry participants will be required to provide more notice of contract changes to recyclers and local governments
The report also recommends that co-regulators be required to report on their engagement with social enterprises through annual reporting.
Social enterprises play an important role in e-waste recycling and deliver valuable social and employment outcomes for local communities.
It is vital that state, territory and local governments take greater responsibility for e-waste and not burden social enterprises.
The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme must be fixed as too many jobs, including disabled workers, depend on it. We will work constructively with the states and territories to achieve this.
The government has already met with all industry co-regulators to discuss the problems facing the sector and to work towards finding solutions. The release of this paper is the next step in the process.
Submissions to the review are invited by 6 February 2015. Any regulatory amendments to the scheme will take effect from 1 July 2015.
More information on review of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme visit: http://www.environment.gov.au/ewaste