Labor’s half a million dollar environment grant wasted on liquidated company

A company that was granted $500,000 in taxpayer funds to be the face of the Andrews Labor Government’s waste and recycling efforts is now in liquidation.

Last October, Labor’s Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio visited Green Bear Recycling in Tottenham to promote taxpayer funded grants during the heights of Victoria’s waste and recycling crisis.

Despite claiming the $500,000 grant has supported “cutting edge processing equipment” to divert waste from landfill, less than a year later, Green Bear Recycling and its parent company are now in administration.

During Question Time today, Minister D’Ambrosio said questions on the $500,000 grant was ‘sweating the small stuff’ and could not justify how it had been value for money for taxpayers or had any positive environmental impacts.

While the Andrews Labor Government’s efforts to tackle Victoria’s waste crisis have now been exposed as trash, the Liberal Nationals have announced a comprehensive Zero to Landfill plan which will end household waste being sent to Victorian landfill by 2035, upgrade Victorian recycling facilities, and implement energy-from-waste technology.

Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Bridget Vallence:

“Over 90% of Victorian sole traders have been unable to access any State Government support during the COVID pandemic, yet Daniel Andrews is happy to hand out $500,000 in taxpayers’ money to a company that’s gone broke just a few months later.

“Labor must answer what financial due diligence it undertook and whether Green Bear Recycling has actually diverted any waste from landfill since cashing in half a million in taxpayers’ money.

“This grant exposes Labor’s flawed approach to the environment and recycling: they make an announcement, write a big cheque from taxpayers and forget about it. This level of waste is completely unacceptable.

“With no real plan to manage Victoria’s waste crisis and recycling needs, Daniel Andrews should bite the bullet and immediately implement the Liberal Nationals comprehensive Zero to Landfill plan.”

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