Morrison fails his own test on plastics export ban after talking big at UN

Published on Mon 11 November 2019 2:32pm

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been caught out being loose with the truth yet again after promising to deliver a plastics waste export ban at the UN General Assembly, which he anticipated would start in 2020.

Friday’s Meeting of Environment Ministers communique stated that a plastics export ban will not commence until 2021, with a ban on other materials to wait until 2022, years later than anticipated.

Serious doubts also exist in industry as to whether this can be delivered without significant financial support from the Commonwealth.

Two-thirds of the government’s so-called recycling investment plan is made up of re-packaged loan funds. The $100 million Australian Recycling Investment Fund consists of nothing more than a fresh label on existing Clean Energy Finance monies. This is not a form of new investment or ‘matched funding’, as the Assistant Minister for Waste Management suggested on ABC Radio National this morning, it is simply a labelling exercise.

The PM’s speech to the UN repeatedly fabricated the truth about Australia’s climate change action and claimed, “plastics in our oceans present more immediate threats.”

Now Scott Morrison can’t even deliver on his plastic climate distraction.

His government’s lack of a recycling plan has already caused this December’s COAG meeting to be cancelled – preventing a whole range of other matters of national significance from being discussed.

Until we see effective national leadership and corresponding action Australia will continue to lag behind when it comes to waste reduction and resource management.

This is consistent with a third term Coalition government that has a political strategy but no plan for our country. The government has covered its climate inaction blushes with claims on rubbish that have already gone into landfill.

Scott Morrison should stop making plastic promises to Australians and stop talking rubbish on the international stage. On the environment and in other key policy areas Australians deserve better than a waste stream of announce-now, think-later policy junk.

Labor is calling on the Prime Minister to deliver and resource a plan for waste and recycling.

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