NWRIC CEO Week in Review 25 September

Review of the Product Stewardship (Oil) Act

It’s now 20 years since The Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000 established the Product Stewardship for Oil Scheme to encourage the environmentally sustainable management, recycling and re-use of used oil in Australia.

The Product Stewardship for Oil Scheme offers a benefit payment to oil recyclers as an incentive to increase the volume of used oil collected and recycled in Australia.

Following a Federal Court decision last year in favour of Caltex regarding benefits it claimed, it was clear the definition of eligible oils included in the Scheme needed to be reviewed.

In May, the Government introduced The Product Stewardship (Oil) Amendment Bill 2020 to clarify the kinds of oils eligible for benefits under the Product Stewardship for Oil Scheme. The definition was amended to cover lubricant oils, fluid oils and other oils and grease manufactured from base oils only and will explicitly exclude fuels such as diesel.

The Bill has passed both Houses of Parliament.

Last month the Australian Government announced the fourth independent review of the Product Stewardship (Oil) Act, this time to be undertaken by Deloitte Access Economics to look at the financial and operational sustainability of the scheme to ensure its effectiveness now and into the future.

NWRIC CEO Rose Read said the Product Stewardship for Oil Scheme had stood the test of time and was a great success.

“The scheme represents an excellent success story for Product Stewardship, with the scheme now supporting 11 oil recycling facilities that employ 600 people around the country.

“Under the Scheme, which is mandatory, more than 300 million litres of oil is being recycled annually and now clarification of the oils included in the Scheme provides certainty for all involved.

“While Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the Scheme, with many waste oil refineries shutting down and waste oil at risk of not being collected, it is pleasing that the Government has seen the real value of the Scheme by announcing a funding package of $7.8 million to support the local recycling market through until the end of 2020.

“The Product Stewardship for Oil Scheme has encouraged producers to take responsibility for their waste, has created jobs and boosted the economy and importantly, protected the environment

“We need to ensure the Scheme is resilient and around for the long term because it is truly delivering a circular economy,” Ms Read said.

Clean Energy Regulator takes charge of methods for earning carbon credits

Environmental compliance publication Footprint reports that the Clean Energy Regulator has set up a special unit to fast-track the development of new methods for earning carbon credits.

According to the Footprint piece, “the Regulator replaces the federal environment department as the lead agency for developing new ERF methods.

“Although the Regulator will now develop methods, the Minister will retain responsibility for declaring them, and the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC) will continue to scrutinise and monitor them.

“The government has instructed the Regulator to ensure new methods are developed in less than a year, and Parker said this would require “co-design and collaboration” with the carbon offsets industry,” the article states.

NWRIC CEO Rose Read welcomed the change and said it should now be easier for businesses to participate in emissions reduction activities.

“Australia’s waste and recycling industry has reduced waste emissions by 35% since 1990, including sustained improvement in the recovery of waste methane gas from landfills.

“Any improvements in streamlining the way methods are developed, revised and approved provides the industry with more certainty on where and how they invest in capturing gas and generating energy from landfill emissions and securing carbon credits,” Ms Read said.

NWRIC fronts Senate Committee inquiry into Recycling and Waste Reduction Bills

Last week NWRIC CEO Rose Read presented NWRIC’s position on the Recycling and Waste Reduction Bills 2020 at the Senate’s Environment and Communications Legislation Committee’s inquiry which is reviewing the proposed legislation.

“Presenting at the inquiry was an important opportunity to reaffirm the content in NWRIC’s submission to the Bills, particularly strengthening the Objects of the Act, seeking greater transparency and minimising regulatory costs to industry,” Ms Read said.

NWRIC’s full submission to the inquiry can be found here:


Details of the Senate’s Environment and Communications Legislation Committee’s inquiry can be found here:


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