Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Dutch delegation wastes no time visiting Western Sydney

A high-level delegation from The Netherlands has visited Western Sydney this week in a bid to strengthen economic and environmental partnerships between Australian and Dutch businesses and government.

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Councillor Barry Calvert said the aim of the visit was to build on economic ties and also work together towards achieving important sustainable development goals.

“Focused on both waste management and the circular economy, the visiting delegation toured the Hawkesbury City Waste Management Facility and participated in a round table discussion with senior WSROC and Hawkesbury City Council representatives at Hawkesbury Council Chambers,” said President Calvert.

“WSROC shared details about our regional collaboration between councils working towards a circular economy and Hawkesbury City Council staff outlined their current waste strategy and the council’s strategy beyond 2026.

“With Sydney forecast to run out of landfill space by 2036, there’s a need for councils to think strategically about extending the life of waste facilities, increasing the ability to recover more valuable resources.

“Our visitors from the Netherlands are dealing with many of the same waste management challenges as we are in Australia, and we both have much to gain by sharing ideas and experience.”

The Dutch delegation has been undertaking a waste and circular economy mission, visiting Brisbane and Sydney as part of the Waste Business Australia Netherlands Partners in Business Program 2021 – 2024, and visiting the ‘Waste 2024’ waste and resource recovery industry conference in Coffs Harbour.

The touring group included industry representatives from such firms as the Dutch Power Group, the Blue Phoenix Group, Adverio Waste Systems, Hofstetter, Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects, and MetaSus.

Also attending were representatives from Rijkswaterstaat (The Netherlands’ Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management) and the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Rijkswaterstaat is an agency within the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands.

“The Rijkswaterstaat’s role is to practically execute public works and water management projects for the Dutch government,” says International Circular Economy Advisor, Joan Prummel.

Ms Prummel said her hope for the visit is to promote the adoption of circular economy strategies and programs outside of the Netherlands.

The Economic Team of the Netherlands’ Consulate-General covers all trade and investment-related matters across Australia.

“Its mission is to promote economic relations between the Netherlands and Australia, whether it is government-to-government, knowledge-to-knowledge or business-to-business components,” said President Calvert.

“Overall, the consulate-general team’s objective is to identify opportunities for Dutch businesses in the Australian market but also to do so in a manner that emphasises Dutch-Australian collaboration and partnerships to achieve mutual benefits.”

The organisations visiting Western Sydney from the Netherlands cover a range of waste recycling, circular economy and advanced manufacturing processes that utilise a range of technologies and deliver a wide range of sustainability outcomes sought by Western Sydney councils.

“Many of these companies promote exports and international cooperation in waste management and the circular economy and look to support similar collaboration and cooperation undertaken by western Sydney councils to achieve waste reduction and climate change mitigation.”

“We welcome our new friends from The Netherlands and value the sharing of ideas and processes between our two nations that this visit has delivered,” said President Calvert.

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