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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, this morning introduced the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Sustainable Procurement Principles) Bill 2020 which enshrines principles of sustainability into the Federal Government’s procurement policy.

“The Bill would require Government agencies to purchase a minimum of 30% recycled goods,” Mr Wilkie said. “The Bill also introduces mandatory sustainable procurement principles which must be taken into account when making purchasing decisions.”

“To put the need for this Bill in context, Australia creates approximately 70 million tonnes of waste annually and only about 55% of that is recycled. This is more waste and less recycling than the average for developed countries. No wonder Australia now hosts the largest landfill in the southern hemisphere.

“Just about everything can be re-used or recycled, thereby saving our resources, reducing dependence on international supply chains and helping to clean up the environment. Recycled goods have of course a wide range of uses. Obviously paper and cardboard can be recycled and used again in the office. But old timber can also be re-used, or recycled into any number of engineered construction products. Steel, aluminium and glass can all be recycled. And even tyres can be recycled and used as a form of road gravel, or for reprocessing into products as diverse as wastewater treatment filters and soundproofing for walls. All of which obviously reduces the need for new materials and creates an internal market for Australia’s waste resources.

“But it will take strong and sustained political will to achieve this. To that end this Bill capitalises on the Government’s purchasing power to create a big new market for sustainable products and drive the shift to a circular economy.”