Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Recycling and Waste 2019



The report was tabled in Parliament on 27 November 2019.

We RUDE [reusers of unloved discarded excess] Guys aka Mend It, Australia under Karen and Danny Ellis formally submitted to this Inquiry.  Our submission number is 306, page 205 of the report.  Our submission can be read here.

Our submission’s main focus was on reuse, repair and community repair. 

For many years prior to our submission, we had been vocal on social media and in our local community about reuse and repair.  However, we knew we had to make more noise to effect greater change, hence our submission and making contact via social media with several MPs on the committee for this inquiry

Samantha Ratnam MP who was on the committee has listened, replied and actioned [refer screen shot below].  Our hats go off to her!


Sonja Terpstra MP who was on the committee has listened, replied and actioned. [refer screen shot below]  Our hats go off to her!  She even has a repair cafe video featuring on her Facebook page, at the time of writing this blog post.  And in her electorate there is Ringwood Repair Cafe and Warrandyte Repair Cafe – lucky them!

Sonja Terpstra_Waste Inquiry

We also attended a meeting with our local Member for Melton Steve McGhie to inform him about the repair movement sweeping the globe and how local communities are embracing repair and reuse activities.  However, it was disappointing to inform him that his electorate has not been supportive due to bureaucracy and red tape.

On Facebook and Twitter we tagged in Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio, other MPs, governments, councillors, think tanks and the like.

Belinda Coates Councillor at the City of Ballarat [refer screen shot below] is  supportive of Ballarat Repair Cafe having promoted it on Twitter and dropped in to find out more.

Belinda Coates Oct 2019

With the release of this report’s findings and recommendations, we feel our voices have been heard.  They must have been, as these findings and recommendations are in line with what we recommended in our submission.  That’s social democracy at work!

FINDING 24: Built-in product obsolescence exacerbates existing strains on the waste and resource recovery sector and obstructs the principles of waste avoidance and a circular economy.
Recommendation 26: That the Victorian Government work with the Commonwealth Government to consider the introduction of extended warranty requirements for products in order to promote principles of repair and reuse rather than use and disposal.

FINDING 25: The Committee recognises the work and successes of repair cafes and supports the introduction of further initiatives across the state that extend the life of products.

For us, Finding 25 is the pearl in the report.

We recently recommended something similar in our interview with Ballarat Repair Cafe as follows:

What do you envision as the future of Repair Cafes in Victoria?

Mend It, Australia envisions repair initiatives in Victoria having dedicated funding for a Victorian Repair and Reuse Society from Sustainability Victoria [the State Government]. This ‘society’ could help to support this growing movement with much needed funds for venue hire and insurance coverage, for example.

Whilst repair cafes are featurued in Finding 25, it must be noted that not all community repair outfits are registered with the International Repair Cafe movement based in the Netherlands.  There are outfits that choose not to be registered and title their initiatives something different, such as Repair Lab, Fix-it Clinic, Mend It Monday etc

We did notice that MP David Limbrick was not in support of Finding 25, as tabled on page 230 of the report [refer screen shot below]. We will have to contact him to find out why.  He may just need to be invited to a community repair event to be sold on the idea.  It appears that his electorate may not have a repair cafe or similar.  Maybe Frankston does, not sure?

Finding 25 Recycling Inquiry Nov 2019
These findings and recommendations that relate directly to our volunteering give us hope that our travel to 42 community repair events this year, and our mending, repairing and fixing skills are making a difference in the state of Victoria, and that we have much to offer as retired Victorians.

It’s been a good news day!

“When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves’.” Lao Tzu

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