former Standing Council on Environment and Water

(incorporating the National Environment Protection Council)

National Waste Policy

On 13 December 2013, COAG replaced its 22 Standing Councils, Select Councils and governance fora with a set of eight Councils and the decision saw the revocation of the Standing Council on Environment and Water. Work is currently underway to resolve how its existing work would be handled in the future. In the interim, this website is currently maintained for historical purposes and is scheduled for archiving.

A new website for the National Environment Protection Council is being developed.

About the National Waste Policy

The National Waste Policy sets a clear direction for Australia for the next 10 years and will update and integrate Australia’s policy and regulatory framework. It will build on existing settings by providing a nationally agreed direction and focus that will be implemented by individual jurisdictions within their borders and collective action by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments. The policy encompasses wastes, including hazardous wastes and substances, in the municipal, commercial and industrial, construction and demolition waste streams and covers liquid, gaseous and solid wastes. Radioactive waste is excluded.

The policy sets directions in six key areas and identifies 16 strategies across these areas. The strategies are designed to:

  • provide a coherent, comprehensive national framework for waste management, resource recovery and the avoidance of waste over the next decade
  • enable Australia to meet its international obligations in regard to the management of hazardous wastes and substances and persistent organic pollutants into the future and reduce the risk and legacy for future generations
  • address market impediments and streamline the regulatory frameworks so that national companies and small businesses can operate effectively and efficiently and manage products and materials responsibly during and at end of life
  • provide national leadership on waste and resource recovery where it is needed and facilitate collaboration between the states on national issues.
  • contribute to climate change, sustainability, innovation and employment opportunities, and
  • be high impact and cost effective by setting clear national directions and through collaborative, carefully targeted action that incrementally builds on the existing efforts of governments over a ten year period.

The National Waste Policy was finalised following the release of a discussion paper and a subsequent consultation program earlier in 2009. EPHC endorsed the National Waste Policy on 5 November 2009.

National Waste Policy reports

National Waste Policy Working Groups

In July 2010 eight working groups were established in order to achieve commitments outlined in the National Waste Policy Implementation Plan.

The eight working groups are:

  1. Product Stewardship
  2. Markets and Standards
  3. Landfill Management
  4. Commercial & Industry, Construction & Demolition and Governments
  5. Reducing Hazard & Risk
  6. Regional and Remote Australia
  7. Data
  8. National Waste Policy Implementation.

On the 6 December 2010, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council Standing Committee endorsed the Terms of Reference for each of the eight National Waste Policy working groups. The endorsed Terms of Reference set out the purpose and objectives for each of the working groups.

Contact details for the chairs of the working groups:

Product Stewardship

(This working group is no longer in operation)

Markets and Standards

Mr Alex Young (NSW)
02 8837 6040
Mr Scott McKenzie (Vic)
03 9695 2526

Landfill Management

Mr Scott McKenzie (Vic)
03 9695 2526
Nick Harford (Convener)
03 9690 8090

Commercial & Industry, Construction & Demolition and Governments

Dr Jill Lethlean (WA)
08 6467 5305

Reducing Hazard & Risk

Mr Barry Reville (Australian Government)
02 6274 1111

Regional and Remote

Mr Stuart Cowie (WA)
08 6467 5000


Mr Bruce Edwards (Australian Government)
02 6274 1111
Mr Alex Young (NSW)
02 8837 6040

National Waste Policy Implementation

(The role of this working group has been assumed by the Waste and Chemicals Thematic Oversight Group.)

Working Group Terms of Reference