Topics: Department of Defence joining the Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme
Thanks very much to Gerry in particular, but we are on defence property so I want to thank Major General Simone Wilkie, one of our two highest ranking women in the Australian Defence Force.
It’s a real honour to be here and it’s a real privilege to be here with someone who has broken so many barriers.
To Rear Admiral Clint Thomas, where is Clint, over here, he was the Commanding Officer of HMAS Cerberus and it was on his watch that I think we nailed down its 50 year future as an indispensible part of the Australian Defence Force property. And so to see Clint rising is no surprise but it’s a genuine delight.
To Steve Grzeskowiak from the Department of Defence; to my own First Assistant Secretary Dean Knudson; especially to our tyre industry leaders; and Matt to you at Tyre Stewardship Australia.
This process is about protecting our environment. It’s about taking the 50 million tyres that we have in Australia and going from a recycling and recovery rate of five per cent to 50 per cent but then beyond that. That’s the five year goal, but we want to get to 100 per cent recovery.
That is not beyond us as a country. Because of the cooperation firstly of the CEOs and the industry, and secondly organisations such as the Australian Defence Force, we will get there as a country.
And what does it mean? It means less landfill, less waste, less toxins, more recycling, more recovery.
There are real problems with waste tyres. Not just litter on a grand scale, but toxic pollution which comes from that.
So I am delighted against that background to announce that the Australian Defence Force will be a full participant in the Tyre Stewardship programme.
That should lead to approximately 40,000 passenger vehicle tyres being recovered each year.
And more importantly, it’s a message to the rest of Australia that the Defence Force is on board, and beyond that we want to see all Australians on board.
It’s a voluntary programme, but with moral suasion. So to Gerry and Matt and your team, you’re doing something important. To people such as Silvio, you’ve taken leadership in the industry.
And at the end of the day, 20, and 30, and 50 years from now, our Australian environment and the health of our Australian cities and urban areas, as well as our rural areas, will be better.
So I’m delighted to launch the partnership between Defence and Tyre Stewardship Australia, and the fact that this is part of the push to ensure that all of Australia’s tyres are ultimately reused, recycled or recovered.
Thanks very much.