Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes, the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio. My question to the minister relates to her portfolio responsibilities of energy, environment and climate change. Following the collapse of SKM Recycling the issue of waste has been at the forefront for nearly 33 councils since last month. The Andrews Labor government is tackling the ongoing waste management issues and has announced a $10 million loan to SKM’s receivers, KordaMentha, to help clean up SKM sites and resume waste processing, as well as beginning the process to overhaul kerbside recycling. The news is welcomed by the councils affected in my area of Western Metropolitan—that is, Wyndham, Brimbank, Moonee Valley and Hobsons Bay councils. My question to the minister is: can the minister outline the support that would be available for the councils in my electorate of Western Metropolitan Region?
Ms D’AMBROSIO (Mill Park—Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Minister for Solar Homes): The safety of the Victorian community is the highest priority for the Victorian Government, and we make no apology for that. The Government is continuing to work in partnership with councils and industry to minimise service disruption. A $6.6 million relief package has been allocated to help alleviate financial pressure on councils affected by the SKM closure. The funding is available to the 33 councils that were sending their kerbside recycling to SKM Corporate Pty. Ltd on 26 July 2019. The rebate will help to offset the additional costs encountered by affected councils which have had to send their recyclable waste to an alternative processor or to landfill. Brimbank, Moonee Valley and Hobsons Bay councils within your electorate are among the affected 33 councils eligible to apply for the rebate. In addition, the Victorian Government is supporting a transition back to processing of kerbside recycling across Victoria through a $10 million loan to KordaMentha, the Receivers and Managers of the SKM Corporate Pty. Ltd.