30 July 2020
AORA July News
Breaking News
AORA Conference moves to 2021
Following the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases in Victoria and NSW, the AORA Board and Conference Committee have made the decision to move the rescheduled November Conference to 15-17 June 2021. Our primary focus is to ensure the health and safety of conference attendees.

The Adelaide Conference that was scheduled to be held in June 2021 will now take place in 2022.

If you have booked a ticket to the November Conference (to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley) this will be rolled over to the 2021 conference. If you are unable to attend, please let us know via conference@aora.org.au by August 31 and we can arrange a refund.  

We will be contacting speakers and exhibitors in the coming weeks to confirm availability, opportunities and attendance for 2021.

Thank you for your understanding. We can't wait to see you in 2021!
From the National Executive Officer
It has been a challenging few months for each of us personally and often professionally. Feedback from many of our AORA Members has indicated that, whilst there have been some struggles, our industry seems to be weathering the COVID-19 crisis better than many others.

Despite this, I know that some of our members have needed to utilise the available Government assistance to “tide them over” and keep their people employed. Others who have not yet used the Government assistance may need to do so in the near future. That’s why I’d like to give this quick update on the future of these programs.

Last week, the Federal Government confirmed the extension of the JobKeeper payment by six months to March 2021, providing businesses with some certainty during this challenging time. From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, full time employees will receive $1,200 per fortnight, whilst part-time and casual employees working less than 20 hours per week will receive $750 per fortnight. From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, full time employees will receive $1,000 per fortnight, whilst part-time and casual employees working less than 20 hours per week will receive $650 per fortnight.

Businesses will still need to show a reduced turnover of 30% (or 50% if the businesses turnover is more than $1 billion), but reporting requirements have changed. Businesses will now need to show that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in both the June and September 2020 quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper subsidy in the December quarter. Businesses will then need to demonstrate that they have met the decline in turnover test again in the December 2020 quarter to be eligible to receive the payment in 2021.

The Taxation Commissioner will have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in a quarter in 2020 with actual turnover in a quarter in 2019.

Further information on the JobKeeper extension is available online at https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper/extension.

As always, don't hesitate to call or email me if you would like to discuss any issues, peter@aora.org.au or 0458 404 898.

We are thinking of all of our members in VIC and hope that your staff and their families are all safe and well.

Peter Olah
National Executive Officer
Welcome to our newest AORA Members
We would like to welcome the following new Members to AORA

  • Brunnings/ J D Organics - WA (returning member)
  • Climate Friendly - NSW
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment - ACT
  • Hero Packaging - NSW
  • SA Mushrooms - SA
  • Shellharbour City Council - NSW
  • Zachary Cohn - NSW.
2020-21 AORA Membership Renewals
AORA 2020-21 Membership renewal invoices were emailed to all members in early July. If you have not received yours, please email Alex - alex@aora.org.au and she can organise for another to be sent.

Once your renewal is paid, you will receive an email with updated 2020 - 21 information, including a link to the AORA members logo and instructions to add extra staff to your AORA online account.
CEA purchases ELB Equipment and commences distribution of
Ditch Witch and Komptech

As a leading agriculture and construction equipment distributor CEA officially commenced operations as the Australian and New Zealand distributor of Ditch Witch underground construction equipment and Komptech waste recycling equipment, after purchasing well-known distributor, ELB Equipment, from the 2 nd July, 2020

“We’re excited to be joining CEA,” said ELB Managing Director Christopher Malan. “CEA is well known for its professionalism, extensive focus on core product lines, and supporting its staff to carry out their integral roles within the business."
Are nappies compostable?
Over 5 million disposable nappies are used by Australians every day! 1 This results in two billion disposable nappies going to landfill each year.  That’s a lot of nappies! Obviously, nappies are not an avoidable item, so people who are waste conscious are looking for an alternative option.

Currently, there are a number of products on the market that say they are compostable or biodegradable. Sadly, this is misleading.   There are currently no nappies in Australia that are certified as compostable, and this is backed up by the Australasian Bioplastics Association .  
Inquiry into the the Recycling Industry - South Australia
The Environment Resources and Development Committee tabled its report, Inquiry into the Recycling Industry, in South Australian Parliament on July 21 2020. In accordance with the provisions of section 19 of the Parliamentary Committees Act 1991 a copy of the Report will now be forwarded to the Minister for Environment who must, within four months, respond to the recommendations contained within the Report.

AORA SA Branch have previously provided a submission to the inquiry and earlier this year, AORA Chair Peter Wadewitz and AORA NEO, Peter Olah both addressed the parliamentary inquiry members.
AORA SA is currently preparing a response to the State Waste Strategy and Food Waste Strategy, if any members would like to contribute to the response, please contact Uma- sasecretary@aora.org.au
International comparison of the
Australian Standard for Compost, Soil Conditioners & Mulches.
Earlier this year, Johannes Biala (CROWN) and Dr Kevin Wilkinson (Frontier Ag & Environment) undertook a comprehensive overview of the the Australian Standard AS4454 - 2012 against other international standards.

The report outlines the history of compost standards, comparison with overseas requirements, impurities and provides a summary of key findings.
AORA SA Training Program Update
The AORA SA Compost Industry Training Program is well underway with 13 students from 4 AORA SA Processors enrolled to undertake a Certificate III in Commercial Composting for the first time in South Australia.

Each student also has the opportunity to strengthen skills in the operation of equipment used in commercial composting as nominated by their employer, the courses involve training and assessment in the operation of forklift, front end loader and excavator. Some students are also undertaking a course in providing first aid.

AORA SA Branch have been able to fund this training thanks to a Skilling South Australia Grant from the South Australian Government. The funding has also allowed AORA to provide insights on making quality compost at scale from industry professionals across the nation including: Komptech Project Manager, Simon Humphris (AORA VIC); Australian Native Landscapes Sales and Marketing Manager, Rob Nicoll (AORA NSW); Peats Soils and Garden Supplies GM, Peter Wadewitz (AORA SA); and Jeffries Group Environmental Project Officer, Renga Ramasamy (AORA SA).
Grow, Eat...COMPOST...Repeat
International Compost Awareness Week
May 2 - 8 2021

This year’s ICAW 2021 theme,  Grow, Eat…COMPOST…Repeat, empowers us to recognise and promote the importance of composting and the use of compost in growing healthier food, supporting healthier soils and, ultimately, creating a more just and sustainable world.

The ICAW 2021 theme is based on the circular movement of the organics recycling process flowing from farm to table to farm again. This circular process turns recycled organic materials into compost which creates healthy soils leading to more nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, with that waste going back to being composted and the process starting again. Compost adds carbon back into the soil, promotes erosion control and closes the loop by avoiding the loss of valuable organic resources. From on-farm composting, large-scale commercial composting facilities to community composting and composting in backyards, this amazing resource provides an ecologically responsible option for managing our organic materials.

The International Poster Competition opens in September and is accompanied by an International Video Competition this year
Organics in the news
Camperdown Compost seeking to increase tonnage capacity
The company has applied to increase their tonnage to 50 000 tonnes per annum as part of their development plans, after mistakenly applying for 35 000 tonnes (not realising that liquid waste needed to be included in their tonnage.)

Bassendean rolls out three bin system
The Town of Bassendean FOGO project is a collaboration with Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council and the State Government and is the first council north of the river to make the switch.

Green Industries SA launches next stage of the Which Bin campaign
Watch the latest clips below
Of interest
Climate Council Clean Jobs Plan
The Clean Jobs Plan identifies 12 policy options which can create jobs fast, where they are needed and for people who need them the most.

Soil condition after bushfires
The Australian Academy of Science recently published the first paper in a series of briefs focusing on the impact of bushfires. This paper examines the condition of soil after bushfires; fertility, agricultural producitivity and the recovery of native vegetation.

ISWA Webinar - Quantifying the benefits to soil of applying quality compost.
A global perspective on the benefits of compost and anaerobic digestate on soil.

Could a Detroit experiment unleash the power of urban soil?
A multi year study is underway aiming to build healthy urban soil, yielding fresh food with climate mitigation as a bonus.

One to watch - Fight for Planet A
Craig Recausel returns to the ABC again to inspire our thinking and challenge our behaviour in August with the new series Fight for Planet A - Our Climate Change.

On a light note: this weeks Google alerts picked up over 40 articles about how to keep bears from feasting on your compost!

At least we don't have to worry about that one in Australia!
If you have a story, link or news to share with AORA members, please email Alex
AORA - Australian Organics Recycling Association
0434 625 472 | admin@aora.org.au