Local council news from federal election campaign

The Coalition has announced an Environmental Policy that relates to Local Government efforts to strengthen Australia’s circular economy (Item #10 on AGLA’s Federal Election Initiatives). The policy includes $100 million as concessional loans from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to go into a “recycling investment fund” that will help fund manufacturing projects. The finance will be available for companies that make recycled products such as plastics, paper and pulp so they can shift to manufacturing that produces fewer carbon emissions or results in more energy-efficient material. Another $20 million will be put into a “product stewardship fund” to encourage industry recycling schemes for products like batteries, electrical products, solar cells and plastic oil containers. The existing Cooperative Research Centres will gain $20 million in grants for research into plastic recycling and waste.

Labor has committed to developing a Regional Tourism Plan which includes $40 million to improve infrastructure around existing regional tourism attractions. These projects will be delivered in partnership with local and state governments or industry. In addition, there will be a further $55 million for infrastructure and facilities upgrades at other world-renowned tourism destinations. This package also includes a $100 million fund to improve and grow the nation’s regional airports, which is a similar amount to the Coalition’s Budget commitment to protect regional airports.