Victorian climate change minister Lisa Neville

The Victorian Government is full steam ahead on the waste front, with new initiatives announced this week to reduce energy and resource waste, and a call for ideas on how to spend the state’s landfill waste levy.

Small and medium enterprises stand to benefit from energy efficiency improvements, with a new round of grants announced to help engage a consultant to undertake energy and materials use assessments.

Minister for environment and climate change Lisa Neville said the assessments would help SMEs identify opportunities for becoming more efficient.

“By operating more efficiently and using better equipment, businesses are more profitable, more productive and are better able to maintain a workforce,” Ms Neville said.

The grants are part of the government’s $10.5 million waste funding package.

Businesses can apply for up to $3000 for an energy assessment and up to $10,000 for a materials or combined materials and energy assessment. If they participate in resource assessments and can show evidence of implementing one or more of the consultant’s recommendations, they will be eligible for an implementation bonus of up to $3000 to act on more of the recommended efficiency actions.

Applications for energy resource assessment grants close Friday 12 February 2016, and those for materials assessments close Friday 13 May 2016.

  • For information on applying see here

The government has also just released its draft Sustainability Fund Priority Statement for public comment on how the multi-million dollar Sustainability Fund should be spent. The fund receives money collected for the state’s landfill levies, and aims to support initiatives around resource recovery, waste management, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“The Priority Statement is currently being reviewed to ensure the money paid by Victorians through the landfill levies goes to projects that improve environmental sustainability, reduce waste and help the community adapt and respond to climate change,” Ms Neville said.

“The Sustainability Fund is an important resource for Victorians and we want to make sure it is spent on projects that deliver for them and for the environment.”

The Fifth Estate has a few suggestions – such as projects to reduce fitout churn, support energy efficiency upgrades for low-income tenants in the private rental market, or boost uptake of precinct-wide renewable energy microgrids.

  • Let the Victorian government know what you think they should do with it here