Coordinated planning and collaborative input will assist WA in achieving shared waste goals, reveals an independent report into performance of the State’s Waste Strategy.
The Auditor General’s report tabled in Parliament yesterday highlights that although progress has been made towards Strategy targets, many areas for improvement remain with a number of barriers to achieving greater waste minimisation for a better environmental outcome.
WA Local Government Association President Cr Lynne Craigie said the sector would be pleased that many of their concerns were reflected in the report’s recommendations.
“The Auditor General has highlighted the need to ensure the implementation of the Waste Strategy includes planning and resource recovery in regional WA,” she said.
“Resource recovery is often a challenge for Local Governments and communities in regional areas, and specific support for these areas is a positive step to increase recycling of waste.”
Cr Craigie noted the report’s focus on increased collaboration and better working relationships between stakeholders as offering great potential.
“Feedback from our members has been that their program delivery has been hampered by the length of time taken in decision making and program approvals,” she said.
“Clarification of roles and responsibilities as recommended in the report should go a long way towards resolving this issue and lead to a more streamlined process.”
The benefits of waste reduction and integrated management systems were also recognised, with recommendations for the completion of a State waste and recycling infrastructure plan and a stronger focus on minimisation programs.  
“WA is not only a high producer of waste, but we are also below average when it comes to recycling waste”, Cr Craigie said.
“To tackle the issue, we need to look at both the systemic and infrastructure impacts as well as behavioural impacts, as outlined in our vision for waste management in the metropolitan area.
“Councils are well placed to contribute in both these areas and we look forward to working with the State Government in implementing the report’s recommendations.”