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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Stronger measures to stop NSW rubbish flowing into Queensland: Miles

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Monday, February 29, 2016

    Stronger measures to stop NSW rubbish flowing into Queensland: Miles

    Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles today discussed the possibility of stronger cross-border laws with his NSW counterpart in Sydney to stem the increased flow of waste into Queensland sparked by the Newman government.

    “The previous State Government’s inaction, after initially dumping the comprehensive waste and recycling strategy it inherited from the former Labor Government, was bad for the environment and bad for Queensland’s recycling industry,’ Dr Miles said.

    “When the LNP scrapped the waste disposal levy, they created a major problem which is costing Queensland more than $90 million in foregone levy revenue annually, and made it cheap to send waste across the border into Queensland for disposal,' he said.

    Dr Miles was in Sydney today for a national stakeholder roundtable, led by the Queensland and New South Wales governments to examine practical solutions to the damage caused by plastic bags to the environment.

    Dr Miles said he raised the waste transport issue with NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman at the roundtable.

    “I was encouraged by the NSW Minister’s interest in the issue and his willingness to keep working closely with us to resolve the problem,’’ he said.

    “The Queensland Government supports national consistency, and especially consistency with NSW.

    “We are working closely with NSW on several initiatives in the area of waste management, that will bring uniformity to the two states such as container deposit schemes, a ban on microbeads in cosmetics and national plastic bag reform,’’ he said.

    “We know the amount of waste coming from interstate has decreased recently, potentially due to the recent regulations put in place by New South Wales to restrict disposal of waste to within 150 kilometres from where it is generated. We understand that waste is still able to travel by rail in some circumstances, and are working through the issues with our counterparts in NSW.

    “The Qld-NSW border area is the most densely populated interstate border in Australia, and residents move across the border routinely as part of daily work, shopping and recreational activity. The Queensland Government works closely with the New South Wales Government to ensure that movements of waste across the border are conducted lawfully,’ he said.

    Both states have laws governing the movement of hazardous, or ‘trackable’ wastes within and between states.

    Prior to transporting a trackable waste from another Australian State or Territory into Queensland, a person or company must apply for and be granted approval.

    EHP maintains co-operative arrangements with the NSW State Regulator to assist them in enforcing the laws.

    “The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s regulatory strategy requires it to take strong enforcement action against operators who fail to achieve the environmental outcomes set by the department, and those who operate without an approval,’’ Dr Miles said.

    “EHP will continue to work with stakeholders to develop strategies and actions that will help drive targets to reduce landfilling and increase recycling,’ he said.

    ENDS

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