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Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund

In late 2019, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to transform Australia’s waste and recycling industry, banning the export of unprocessed waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres while building Australia's capacity to generate high value recycled commodities and associated demand.

In response to this decision, the Australian Government, states and territories agreed to jointly invest in recycling infrastructure to help build processing capacity and markets for recycled products.

Through a National Partnership Agreement (NPA) between the Queensland and Australian Governments, $40 million is being invested in a new Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund (QRMF) to boost Queensland’s recycling industry. This investment comprises $20 million from the Australian Government and $20 million in co-funding from the Queensland Government.

The fund supports National Waste Policy Action Plan targets, Queensland’s waste diversion targets and the national ban on waste exports, commencing January 2021 through to July 2024.

Allocation of QRMF funds to Queensland projects is being administered by the Queensland Government, as part of its commitment under the NPA.

Funding will be invested in projects that improve sorting, processing, recycling or remanufacturing of waste and divert waste plastic, paper and cardboard, tyres or glass from landfill.

Applications are now open

Applications are now invited from public or private companies, local governments and not-for-profits looking to use proven resource recovery technologies to improve existing operations or bring significant new facilities to Queensland.

Applications should focus on how recycling projects can or will:

  • improve sorting, process, recycling and remanufacturing of waste
  • divert waste from landfill (including stockpile diversion/reduction)
  • create jobs, especially development opportunities in regional areas
  • create economic development opportunities
  • build a stronger onshore recycling industry by developing new domestic markets for recycled materials
  • address Queensland’s regional and remote challenges, where possible.

Projects funded from the Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund need to be delivered by 30 June 2024.

How to submit an application

  1. Read the applicant guidelines (PDF, 1 MB).
  2. Read the below frequently asked questions.
  3. Complete the online application form.
  4. Submit your application, including your supporting documents by 7 September 2021.

Applications close: 5 pm Tuesday 7 September 2021.

Further information

Any queries, including questions about applications, please contact us via email.

Frequently asked questions

  • The Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund is a joint initiative of the Queensland and Australian governments providing $40 million in funding support for industry infrastructure expansions or upgrades to address gaps in the State’s waste reprocessing capacity.

  • The Australian Government is introducing a waste export ban and new laws which mean that by mid-2024 Australia must recycle around 650,000 additional tonnes of waste plastic, paper and cardboard, glass and tyres each year. Our waste and recycling industry needs to capture more materials for recycling and needs to do so cost-effectively.

    Through a National Partnership Agreement, the Australian and Queensland governments are each contributing $20 million towards the $40 million QRMF to support industry development, so it can capture more materials for recycling.

  • Like other states and territories, Queensland has a part to play in supporting the new waste laws and deliver the waste and recycling outcomes the community expects. The QRMF will help grow our domestic waste and recycling industry and ensure we have the infrastructure needed to support the new laws.

    The QRMF replaces and builds on the success of the Queensland Government’s Resource Recovery Industry Development Program (RRIDP) which has delivered some great projects with strong outcomes so far. We now we need to focus on the waste streams that will be most severely impacted by the waste export ban, and we need to do it quickly.

    The QRMF will focus on funding projects that improve sorting, processing, recycling and remanufacturing of materials from the following waste streams – waste plastic, mixed and unsorted paper and cardboard, unprocessed glass and whole use tyres, including baled tyres.

  • Under the National Partnership Agreement and co-funding arrangements, the Queensland Government will administer the QRMF through the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.

  • Since the RRIDP’s launch in September 2018, 29 businesses and local government projects have been awarded funding, diverting 1.3 million tonnes of waste per annum from landfill, delivering an additional $193.8 million in capital investment and creating more than 360 jobs across Queensland.

    A number of projects funded through RRIDP are yet to be announced. The program is now closed.

  • There is no funding left in the RRIDP. All funds have been contracted, committed to projects under negotiation or committed to the National Partnership Agreement.

  • The fund is focused on attracting private sector investment in new infrastructure, particularly for the sorting, processing and remanufacture of waste plastic, paper and cardboard, tyres and glass.

    We’re investing in projects facilitating waste avoidance, landfill diversion (including stockpile diversion/reduction) and recycling activities. Our focus is also on projects that create economic development opportunities, will build a stronger onshore recycling industry by developing new domestic markets for recycled materials and that will create jobs particularly in regional areas.

  • In late 2019, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that Australia should ban the export of unprocessed waste plastic, paper and cardboard, glass and tyres while building Australia's capacity to generate high value recycled commodities and associated demand.

    Following this decision, in early 2020 after a period of industry consultation and market analysis, COAG agreed to the following implementation timetable for the phased withdrawal of exported recyclables:

    • unprocessed glass - from 1 January 2021
    • mixed Plastics - 1 July 2021
    • whole used tyres - 1 December 2021
    • single resin/polymer plastics - 1 July 2022
    • mixed and unsorted paper and cardboard - 1 July 2024

    The Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund specifically targets these waste streams.

  • Projects must be directly related to new infrastructure investment, hence feasibility studies, strategy development, education, behavioural change projects are not eligible nor will those dealing with waste streams outside the identified ‘Eligible Projects’ criteria. Projects cannot have previously received grant funding through RRIDP nor have already commenced or be planned to commence regardless of government financial support.

    Projects dealing with waste streams outside of those stipulated in the QRMF Program Guidelines are excluded from funding eligibility. Energy from waste and landfill projects are also excluded from funding eligibility.

  • Yes, if they meet the eligibility criteria.

  • Yes, mixed waste stream projects are eligible however the primary waste stream must be waste plastic, paper and cardboard, tyres or glass.

  • Applicants can be located or based interstate but the project must be for investment in facilities or infrastructure located in Queensland. Projects must primarily process waste streams from Queensland. Applicants must have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN).

  • Yes, however where a joint application is submitted by a consortium, a lead organisation must be nominated for the application. The lead organisation for the project will, if the application is successful, sign the funding agreement, receive the funding and assume legal responsibility for performing the activities and meeting the outcomes under the grant agreement.

  • No. QRMF will only accept one application per applicant. Proponents with more than one project should choose their most meritorious project as applications are expected to be highly competitive. If a joint application is made by a consortium, a lead organisation must be nominated for the application.

  • As set out in the QRMF Program Guidelines (PDF, 1MB) energy from waste projects are not eligible for funding. Contact your DSDILGP Regional Office to discuss options to progress your project.

  • Applicants may be a business, local government (including local government owned/controlled organisations), a not-for-profit or non-government organisation, and only one application will be accepted per organisation.

    All applicants are urged to first read the QRMF Program Guidelines (PDF, 1MB) which provide advice about the eligibility requirements. These include that applicants must:

    • have an active Australian Business Number or Australian Registered Body Number
    • propose to be investing in facilities and infrastructure to be located in Queensland
    • have secured internal organisational approval to apply
    • are approved to co-fund at least 50 per cent of the project’s capital costs
    • have the financial and technical capacity to deliver the project, and
    • have a history of effective regulatory compliance.
  • Yes, if the infringement has been satisfactorily resolved and the organisation can demonstrate a history of effective regulatory compliance.

  • No. Projects that have already commenced or are planned to commence, regardless of whether or not they have secured government or non-government financial support, are not eligible for QRMF funding.

  • Applications will be assessed in a three-step process set out in the QRMF Program Guidelines. Applicants will receive written notification about the outcome of their application.

    Access to the QRMF will involve a three-step process:

    • Step one – application and assessment: you submit an application which is assessed according to eligibility, assessment criteria and program objectives.
    • Step two – inter departmental panel review: if your application is successful at step one, you may be requested to provide further details in relation to your application. The application will be considered by an inter departmental panel who will recommend projects for funding. The Australian Government will then be consulted about these recommendations.
    • Step three - financial delegate approval: if your application is successful, funding approval will be sought from the financial delegate. Once funding approval is received a letter of offer will be issued including high-level conditions of contract.
  • Funding will be offered to the most meritorious applications. There is no guarantee of approval at any stage in the process and you will be notified in writing of the outcome. The State reserves the right to award grant funding in a different amount or with alternative conditions to that requested.

  • Applicants successful at Step one of the assessment process will be contacted and ongoing contact will be made by the program team throughout the assessment process. Announcements about successful projects will start being made as successful projects are contracted.

  • Your project can not commence until a funding agreement has been signed and executed.

  • To meet the project eligibility criteria, projects must be completed by 30 June 2024.

  • The minimum funding request is $100,000 (excluding GST). There is no maximum funding request.

    The amount of funding allocated to successful projects will be at the discretion of the government, with applications considered on their merit.

  • The QRMF will reimburse up to a maximum of 50 per cent of actual expenditure on eligible project costs. Applicants must be able to provide the balance of eligible project costs not funded by the QRMF and all ineligible project costs required to complete the project in its entirety.
    Applicants are required to directly contribute a minimum of 25 percent of the total project cost in cash. The remaining co-contribution may be obtained from other funding sources.

    **The requirement to contribute 25 per cent in cash does not apply to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Councils. For these councils, this contribution can come from any source.

    In-kind contributions are welcome but will not be counted toward the minimum applicant contributions to eligible or total project costs.
    Refer to the QRMF Program Guidelines for further information.

  • Evidence supporting an application could include bank statements, projected business/group cashflow, last three-years financial statements, finance agreements, formal agreements with a related parent/group entity. A letter from your bank or your accountant is not sufficient on its own.

Last updated: Thursday, Jul 8, 2021