When we consider our day, from the moment we wake to the time we return to bed, how many times do we engage with the garbage bin beside the fridge?
From the obsolescence of your mobile phone to the change in fashion bringing a change in the wardrobe, to the end of the carrots that you don’t want to eat, to the drink bottle you purchased with the pie. All these are disposed of but often that is a euphemism to mean merely placed out of sight.
The magic of the disposable society; but the apparition that waste harmlessly disappears, carried away in a truck, is like most magic a mirage.
Waste must be managed for hygiene, for the pure necessity that it can’t just lie as litter, arbitrarily scattered around the house and across the fields and over the streets. Waste must be managed for toxins. Waste is an unavoidable by-product of a modern economy that gives us the standard of living we take for granted.
This report addresses the dilemma in some way that the rubbish a nation creates in 2020 must be effectively, efficiently and sustainably dealt with by the nation that creates it. No one is going to put up with our garbage anymore. Finding big old holes in the ground to throw it in is a poor reflection of a nation that wishes to present itself as a clever country.
Nothing in the universe can be destroyed. We are governed by the law of the conservation of energy and mass. Matter does not disappear it just changes form. Following this rule, we must change the form of rubbish, walking it back up the ladder of utility into its reusable component parts.
Organic rubbish can become fertiliser and methane for power. Plastic can become plastic again, steel returns to steel. But some waste is vastly more complex to deal with. How many years has the, at first view, simple task of recycling old tyres alluded us on a wide scale commercial basis? Burying things should be the last option so if you cannot develop the end use technology to recycle then we must change the initial component parts and technology at the manufacturing of a product. The nation must develop the front-end technology so we can recycle at the end.
In this task of waste management, the nation must be effective in delivering a unified approach across states. It would be inefficient and cumbersome for there to be two different policies either side of the Tweed River for instance. Additionally, policy should not reach so far into domestic or small business that the encumbrance and overhead creates, not a vision for a better environment but a resentment against an excessive government.
I would like to thank the committee members for their participation and efforts especially Madam Deputy Chair, Sharon Bird, Member for Cunningham. Additionally, I would like to note my deep appreciation for the diligent work of the Secretariat.
Hon Barnaby Joyce MP