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Greener Infrastructure Providing Jobs Boost To Ballarat

07 July 2022

The Andrews Labor Government is providing a boost to the environment and local Ballarat jobs by recycling hundreds of tonnes of plastic waste and repurposing it into transport projects across the state.

It’s estimated 10 Victorian jobs are created for every 10,000 tonnes of waste material kept out of landfill – leading to approximately 3,900 jobs in the next decade.

eMesh is made from 100% recycled polypropylene plastic and has been used to replace steel mesh in concrete for shared user paths across 22 road and rail projects and dozens of other infrastructure projects in Australia.

The recycled product is manufactured in Ballarat by Danbar Plastics for Enviromesh.

The eMesh is packed by McCallum Industries, an Alfredton-based disability support organisation and social enterprise that employs approximately 90 people with disability under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Since it was introduced in 2020, Recycled First has led to five times more recycled materials being used than previous years – with 1.3 million tonnes being integrated on Victorian transport projects.

The shift to recycled products is being driven by Victoria’s ecologiQ program, which is leveraging the Labor Government’s significant infrastructure investment to boost the use of recycled and reused materials. Supplier Enviromesh has already seen stronger demand, with 100% year-on-year growth for eMesh in recent years.

eMesh is used across 22 Victorian major infrastructure projects, with 10 more planned, including the Monash Freeway and Barwon Heads Road Upgrades, Toorak Road and Hoppers Crossing Level Crossing Removals and the Pakenham rail line upgrade.

Victoria’s nation-leading circular economy will take centre stage in September, showcasing the greener projects being delivered by the Labor Government’s Big Build. For more information visit ecologiq.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan

“Recycled products like eMesh are keeping hundreds of tonnes of plastic out of landfill and significantly reducing the carbon footprint of projects – as well as creating jobs and investment in regional communities like Ballarat.”

“Our Recycled First Policy plays a crucial role in this, as it requires transport infrastructure contractors to optimise their use of recycled and reused materials.”

Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

“Through our infrastructure projects across Victoria, we are supporting the shift to a cleaner and greener transport network and ensuring thousands of local jobs for the next decade, including right here in Ballarat.”

Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle

“Not only are we reducing landfill, but we’re also opening up new opportunities in employment and ongoing job security through the pipeline of future infrastructure projects.”

Reviewed 08 July 2022

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