AORA NSW achievements and year in review | 2016
AORA NSW is pleased to tell you about a successful 2016.
It’s been a year of growth for AORA NSW. Our membership increased by almost 20%, up from 68 at the end of January to 81 in December. 41% of these members are processors, 51% are associate industry members and 8% are individual members.
We held regular monthly committee meetings on the second Wednesday of each month from February to October which were open to all members with attendance ranging from 10 to 16 members (average 13 per month). From August, the NSW EPA organised participation by members in these meetings by Skype phone-in facility, with 2 to 4 members per meeting taking advantage of this arrangement.
The following special events and meetings were also organised by AORA NSW during 2016:
MRA/Fertcare/AORA project for Freshcare revision | 17 February | 42 attended | Western Sydney University, Richmond
Joint WCRA/AORA seminar on industry issues | 8 March | 15-20* attended | Dooleys Lidcombe
Presentations on WLRM OMG projects | 8 June | 22 attended | Mamre House, Orchard Hills
Farm visit and project presentations | 9 November | 76 attended | GSLLS Demonstration Farm, Richmond
Christmas dinner and Awards presentation | 2 December | 69 attended | Blue Eyed Dragon Restaurant, Pyrmont
*Estimate of AORA members at this event, this was a joint event managed by WCRA with 80 to 90 attendees who were WCRA members, AORA members, and dual members of both WCRA and AORA.
The MRA/Fertcare/AORA Freshcare project has resulted in a revised Freshcare protocol which allows compost use in vegetable production under strict conditions. MRA has developed a program which enables compost producers to have their product assessed against Fertcare requirements.
In addition, AORA Members have participated and attended briefing sessions by Waste Less, Recycle More, Organics Market Grant recipients who are required under the conditions of the grants to report on progress with their projects.
The Annual National Conference, Training Day, Industry Tours and Dinner was held in Parramatta this year between 3-5 August. The Professional Training Workshop had 53 attendees, the conference attracted 125 attendees.
AORA NSW has worked closely with all levels of the NSW EPA to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for the community of NSW and the organics processing industry. We have maintained contact through meetings with the Minister for the Environment, contact with the Director Waste and Resource Recovery and regular discussions with officers in the Organics section of NSW EPA. In particular, officers involved with organics under the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative has enabled AORA NSW to better understand how our industry can assist NSW EPA to achieve its objectives in the Organics recycling field.
Under the Waste Less, Recycle More Organics Market Development Grant program, AORA has been able to employ Alice Morgan as Communications and Education Officer (NSW) to communicate the outcomes of organics marketing projects and promote the use of recycled organics to a wider market in NSW.
This has included regular industry News, a comprehensive industry calendar, and up to date social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and two LinkedIn pages – one for AORA, as well as Compost for Soils.
Another outcome of our dialogue with NSW EPA has been to ensure that the revised Orders and Exemptions for the application of waste to land in NSW are fair and workable. We have also made submissions on the proposed Financial Guarantee for clean-up regulations, which are still in draft with no date for their implementation.
Within AORA NSW we have set up a number of sub-committees to deal with specific issues and to enable as many members as possible to get involved with the issues that are of interest to them within the industry. The sub-committees are:
- Training sub-committee. A Training Needs Analysis (TNA) for the industry has been completed. The main task is to ensure that the industry training package being developed by NSW EPA is relevant, covers the key areas identified in the TNA in a sound and practical way, and ensures that EPA officers have a thorough understanding of the structure, nature, limitations and restraints of the organics processing industry.
- Communications and International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) sub-committee.
- Engineered Wood Products (EWP) sub-committee which is investigating how best to manage engineered wood products in the organics recycling stream to minimise risk to the environment and human health.
- Asbestos sub-committee - how best to manage asbestos contamination in the organics recycling stream to minimise risk to the environment and human health. (Currently on hold until a protocol approved by NSW EPA for the C&D sector is developed.)
Rules for governance of the NSW Division were drawn up during the year, approved at a monthly committee meeting of the division and ratified by the Board of AORA Ltd.
Members of AORA NSW have been involved in the Australian Standards revision of AS4419 – Soils for landscape and garden use. The revised standard is in the final stages of editing and should be published in the first half of 2017.
We would like to thank all who have contributed and assisted with the progress AORA NSW has made in 2016.
The executive of AORA NSW: Tony Emery (Chair), Duncan Le Good (Deputy Chair), Garry Kimble (Secretary/Treasurer)
The National Executive Officer (Peter McLean)
The Board of AORA Ltd chaired by Paul Coffey
The Chairs and members of our sub-committees ( Virginia Brunton, Angus Campbell, David Bonser, John Vyse, Terry Martin, John Lawson, Upal Gunawardena, Michael Bonanno, Ryan Jacka)
Our Communications and Education Officer (Alice Morgan).
Also members of the NSW EPA who have supported us:
Barry Buffier (CEO and Chair)
Steve Beaman (Director, Waste and Resource Recovery)
Amanda Kane (Manager Organics)
Annie Kavanagh (Project Officer, Organics)
Jannie Higginson (Project Officer, Organics)
Brock Baker (Project Officer, Organics)
Helen Prifti (Unit Head Resource Recovery, Waste Strategy & Innovation)
Henry Moore (Manager, Waste Strategy & Innovation).
Looking forward to 2017 we will continue to work closely with the NSW EPA and the extension of the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative with a further $337 million over 4 years from 2017-21.
2017 is already shaping as an exciting one for the Executive, with the following already in planning:
- Training roadshows for the updated AS 4419 Soils for landscaping and garden use
- Launching the Training Package alongside the NSW EPA in May
- Workshops based on your feedback which will link our members with end markets
- Processor members' survey to find out how we can better meet your goals for AORA
- Engaging the EPA to consider reviewing the definition of waste to ensure safe and finished products like compost aren’t classified as waste post processing.
- We are already formalising our state structures and committees and look forward to learning from and sharing with our other Divisions around the country.
We will continue to represent members’ interests in 2017 and invite your participation in our activities next year, and as always, we like hearing from you so get in touch with us to let us know what you want to see from your Australian Organics Recycling Association.
Tony Emery, NSW Chair
Australian Organics Recycling Association Ltd