The push towards a functioning circular economy in the Goulburn Murray region is gaining momentum with industry heavy-hitters throwing their weight behind the initiative.
Community and industry leaders attended a forum earlier this month to progress the concept of a circular economy, which is based on the use waste streams to manufacture sustainable products.
The forum, organised by the Goulburn Broken CMA and funded by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA), highlighted possible pathways and obstacles to the establishment of a circular economy in the region.
Goulburn Murray Resilience Taskforce chairperson Sarah Thomson said she was pleased with the representation from business, government and the community.
“It’s great that DEECA funded this important discussion about forging towards a genuine circular economy,” Ms Thomson said.
“We had some industry people in the room who are already doing really clever things around the use of waste for manufacturing and it’s truly inspiring to hear their stories.”
Ms Thomson said she would welcome funding for the taskforce to progress work which is already being done in the region.
“The Goulburn Murray Resilience Taskforce is a good model to work with government to start those transitions and steps we need to take towards a circular economy.”
Recycling Victoria’s Nick Nagle said there was plenty of spirited conversation at the forum and the region was closer to achieving its desired outcome than when a similar group met 12 months ago.
“There was a lot of energy in the room. It’s clear that we’re working towards something significant because it needs to happen in this region.
“Meetings like this help with ongoing facilitation, sharing information and uncovering good news stories. It’s a step in the process of where we want to go.”
Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO Linda Nieuwenhuizen said the Goulburn Murray region was uniquely positioned to lead the charge towards a circular economy.
“Our geography, diversity of industry, climate and water resources combine to give us an advantage that no other region can replicate,” she said.
“The 101 of competitive advantage is what have we got that no place else has and how can we build on that?
“We’ve also got the whole supply chain in one region and planning for a circular economy would add another string to our bow.”
The next steps will see the Goulburn Broken CMA produce a summary of the actions that need to happen for the region to collectively make use of its resources.
(L to R) Sarah Thomson from the Goulburn Murray Resilience Taskforce Recycling Victoria’s Nick Nagle and GBCMA CEO Chris Cumming