Government ramps up energy on climate action

It’s been a busy month in Canberra, with the Federal government issuing a raft of new proposals and funding to facilitate Australia’s transition to a circular economy and achieve net zero emissions.

Regarding recycling, the government has launched a $60 million fund for hard to recycle plastics, including soft plastics like shopping bags, bread bags, cling wrap and chip packets. This boost in funding will support new or upgraded infrastructure projects across Australia, including trials targeting ways to keep hard-to-recycle plastics in use and recycling to turn plastic back into oil for re-use in food grade packaging.

In a bold move, the government has announced the introduction of a national framework for recycled content traceability in products to boost demand and confidence in recycled materials. This program, will allow businesses to track recycled content from its origin (i.e. raw materials stage) to its final destination – including material recovery, reprocessing, manufacturing, distribution and retail. This is a huge boost to understanding where recycled content comes from, and how it has been processed and handled – which ultimately will assist in restoring confidence in the recycling system. This proposal is still in its infancy, with a discussion paper released on the scheme. The ARA will engage with members to produce a response to this submission.

At a State level, the NSW and Federal government have announced a co-investment of $11 million to transform the recycling industry in NSW to better align with the circular economy. This funding will boost NSW’s ability to remanufacture plastic, paper, cardboard and tyres – and increase waste processing capacity by more than 20,000 tonnes each year.

In QLD, the Federal and State government have committed to investing more than 13.3 million for 13 new recycling projects, diverting an expected 68,000 tonnes of waste from landfill each year. New infrastructure built under the scheme will sort, process, and recycle glass, plastics, paper, tyres and cardboard into new products for use in agriculture, building and manufacturing.

Regarding energy efficiency,  the Government is backing a $9.4 million commercial refrigeration trial, that could change the way supermarkets use electricity and support the integration of renewable energy into the grid. The trial will see commercial refrigerators pre-cooled during peak solar PV generation periods – when prices are low and shift usage away from times when energy demand is higher. It’s estimated that the trial will unlock 20.9 MW of flexible demand on the supporting reliable electricity supply across the National Electricity Market.

Finally, in some good news for small businesses, grants of up to $25,000 awarded to 690 businesses to assist in the investment of energy efficient technologies to reduce emissions through energy consumption. If your small business would like similar support, head to the Energy Efficiency Grants for SMEs page, with the second round of grants opening in 2024.



MST Marquee – The impact of migration on retail

Retail businesses setting budgets and forecasting are understandably finding it difficult to navigate the uncertain economic conditions. Our research can help educate retailers about industry profitability benchmarks, wage growth and inventory levels, so that businesses can better prepare for the future.

Now more than ever

If business, and retail especially, must reflect the zeitgeist in order to remain relevant, then in this unique inflection point in history, the rights of Indigenous people must be incorporated

Retail Voice CEO Message: 8 May 2024

Achieving a unified voice for retail has been a compelling focus for our industry for many years. It is in the spirit of this endeavour that we are delighted to

Retail Voice CEO Message: 1 May 2024

Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released retail trade data for March, with a modest increase of just 0.8% compared to the same month last year, despite being bolstered by