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Waste Avoidance And Resource Recovery Act 2007

Waste Management Legislation

The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 (WARR) and Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy Act 2007 (WARRL) passed through Parliament in December 2007. Both Acts have now been enacted, with The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Regulations 2008 and The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy Regulations 2008 being gazetted on 1 July 2008.

The primary objective of the WARR Act 2007 is to contribute to sustainability, and to the protection of human health and the environment. It is also designed to help Western Australia to move towards a waste-free society by

  • Promoting the most efficient use of resources, including resource recovery and waste avoidance
  • Reducing environmental harm, including pollution through waste
  • Consideration of resource management through avoidance of unnecessary resource consumption and disposal
  • Resource recovery which includes reuse, reprocessing, recycling and energy recovery

The WARR Act 2007, also reflects the principles set out in the Environmental Protection Act 1986 section 4.

The Municipal Waste Advisory Council reviewed the Legisation to ensure that it addressed all of Local Government concerns. A Copy of the InfoPage sent to all Local Governments in July 2008 is available here.

Copies of the WARR Acts and WARR Regulations are available below:

  • The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 here
  • The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy Act 2007 here
  • The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Regulations 2008 here
  • The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy Regulations 2008  here

Information on the GST Exemptions is available here

The second reading speech on the WARR Bill in the Legislative Assembly is available here.

The second reading speech on the WARR Bill in the Legislative Council is available here

The second reading speech on the WARR Levy Bill is available here

In 2006, the State Government released draft WARR and WARR Levy Bills. The Municipal Waste Advisory Council's Submission to the 2006 Draft Bill is available here. MWAC also produced Supplementary Submission on the Bill.

WARR And WARRL Bill - Ministers Response

When the Municipal Waste Advisory Council submitted their response to the draft WARR and WARRL Bills 2006, correspondence was sent to the Minister for the Environment highlighting key Local Government concerns with the Bills (correspondence is available here). A response from the Minister has been received and is available here. The response includes a decision on the appeals process and provides clarity on what the Landfill Levy will be applied to.

Local Government Comment

A workshop with Department representatives to discuss the critical elements of The WARR Bill with Local Government was held on Monday 28 November 2005.  The workshop produced a number of recommendations for the instructing officer to consider during the development of the Bill.  A summary of the discussion and outcomes from the workshop is available here.  The Western Australian Government through the Minister for the Environment has undertaken to allow a 3 month consultation period for the Draft WARR Bill once it is released for comment.

Waste Management Board Changed To Waste Authority

The Waste Authority is the new statutory waste authority that has formed under the WARR Act 2007. It replaces the Waste Management Board (WMB) which had no statutory power. The Waste Authority has the status, immunities and priveleges of the State. The members are Barry Carbon (Chair), former Chair of the Waste Management Board, Jan Grimoldby (Deputy Chair), Carolyn Jakobsen, Marcus Geisler and Professor Paul Hardisty.

The Waste Management Board underwent significant changes in 2006. Barry Carbon, former Chief Executive of the Environmental Protection Agency replaced Noel Davies as Chair of the Board. There was also four new members to the Board, Anne Nolan (economic policy), Fleur Newman (legal skills), Geoff Richards (business experience) and Graeme Slessar (industry knowledge).

Product Stewardship

When enacted the WARR Act 2007 will provide head powers for the approval of voluntary Product Stewardship Agreements and mandatory EPR schemes. The Waste Authority are currently inviting relevant business and industry, and other stakeholders to work with the Board in developing Product Stewardship Agreements for selected Action Products.  For more information visit the Waste Authority’s Website.

Health Act Review

At the same time as the WARR Act 2007 was being developed, the Health Act was undergoing major reforms. These changes have implications for waste managment.

In July 2005, the Department of Health (DoH) released a New Public Health Act for Western Australia - A Discussion Paper for Public Consultation. The Discussion paper proposed the replacement of the core public health provisions of the Health Act with a risk based approach to the protection and promotion of public health to be administered. The WA Local Government Association prepared a position paper on the proposed amendments and welcomed comment from interested Council officers and elected members.

New Public Health Bill

In December 2005, based on the feedback from member Councils, State Council endorsed in principle the development of the New Public Health Bill recognising that the risk management approach would strengthen Local Governments ability to service their communities and meet local needs by providing increased flexibility and autonomy for Local Government.

The new Public Health Bill and the enactment of the WARR Act 2007 have seen all regulations relating to waste and waste management shift from the Health Act 1911 to the WARR Act 2007. The new Public Health Act will also provide a mechanism for Local Government to recover the costs of services it provides to the community. Part 8 of the Bill deals with Registration and Licensing by enforcement agencies, under which registrable and licensable activities can be detected by regulations and policies. To access information in relation to the draft Public Health Bill click here.

In 2008, the WA Local Government Association prepared a submission on the draft Public Health Bill, which is available here. For further information contact Jodie Holbrook, Policy Manager (Community) on jholbrook@walga.asn.au or 08 9213 2044.