The Morrison-McCormack Government today announced it will protect jobs and the environment by providing $7.8 million in temporary funding to support oil recycling facilities affected by COVID-19.
Australia’s oil recyclers collect and recycle used oil from over 48,000 waste oil producers across the country, such as mechanics, car dealerships, factories, passenger transport, freight, service stations and heavy industry.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Government pays a benefit to all oil recyclers to incentivise the collection and re-refinement of waste oil.
“This has been highly successful with approximately 300 million litres of waste oil being collected and re-processed annually under strict licensing conditions and environmental approvals,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“This money will support an industry severely affected by COVID-19, with 50 per cent of Australia’s waste oil refineries having shut-down and industry estimates showing at least 25 per cent of waste oil is at risk of not being collected.”
Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley said constraints on the industry’s capacity to collect, process and store used oil could lead to waste oil being stockpiled or dumped.
“Unprocessed waste oil is hazardous to human health and the environment. This temporary support will ensure that oil recyclers can continue to responsibly and safely collect and re-process waste oil to create a valuable recycled product,” Minister Ley said.
Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans said the additional funding to 31 December 2020 will protect jobs and the environment by allowing refineries to keep operating while COVID-19-related impacts stabilise.
“Our Government’s oil product stewardship scheme supports 11 oil recycling facilities around Australia which employ 600 Australians and thousands of contractors and we want them to keep doing this important work,” said Assistant Minister Evans.
“We will also bring forward a scheduled review of the scheme to ensure it remains viable and sustainable into the future, for the benefit of the industry and our environment.”
Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd said, today’s announcement is not only a win for the environment but for the jobs this lifeline has been thrown to the industry.
“Every single job that we support makes a huge difference in our local communities – now and as we navigate out of the pandemic.”
“This funding will be able to retain 32 permanent jobs at Northern Oil in Gladstone, which is the way forward to economic recovery from the pandemic.”
Chief Operating Officer of the Southern Oil Refining, Australia’s largest waste oil recycler, Dan Czubala thanked the Morrison-McCormack Government for their assistance.
“This is a measured, proportionate assistance package that will ensure waste oil can continue to be properly collected, stored and refined throughout all of Australia,” Mr Czubala said.
“The Morrison-McCormack Government has thrown our industry a lifeline during an unprecedented period of turmoil and difficulty,” he added.