Mark Smith has resigned as the CEO of the Waste Recycling Industry Association Queensland (WRIQ) and will be replaced by Dr Georgina Davis.

Smith has been in the job for two years. He said despite the COVID-19 pandemic creating the most difficult two years in recent decades, he was proud of what has been delivered for WRIQ and its members.

“Our association has bucked the trend of other associations nationally over the last few years: expanding our member numbers, increasing our revenue, expanding our member services, increasing our presence and profile across a range of communication and media channels and most importantly changed our profile with key stakeholders in government and the private sector.

“This has enabled further opportunities for WRIQ to represent the interests of the sector to governments (local, state and federal) and even drive national discussion with recent examples including our review into how state governments collect waste levies and deliver grant programs (with the raw datasets we’ve collected now shared with all our partner associations,) and the national intern program launched by Hon Trevor Evans MP last year.”

Smith highlighted three key indicators that were endorsed early in his tenure at WRIQ that have been achieved – increased member benefits and increased members, increasing the WRIQ brand and profile and Increasing revenue.

“Our sector is changing and changing rapidly. We can’t always wait for government to respond to our needs and challenges. If we don’t tackle those issues, much of the incoming change will be forced upon us as opposed to be influenced and created by us. WRIQ is the best vehicle for the industry to create that future.”

Smith will work with the WRIQ Executive Committee in the transition to a new CEO during the next few months. He plans to continue working in the sector and stay in Queensland.

Richard Taylor, WRIQ president, said Smith presided over perhaps two of the most difficult years the association has faced, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting day-to-day lives in ways unimaginable before 2020.

“Despite these obstacles, Mark can be very proud of his achievements during this time,” Taylor said.

He said Davis is well known in the recycling industry and to the association’s membership, having been involved with the association for many years.

She is the founder of the Waste to Opportunity Enterprise, and is currently finishing a period as CEO of the Queensland Farmers Federation, a position with many similarities to the WRIQ CEO role and with many of the same stakeholders, including government departments and elected members.

Davis is highly qualified in the fields of environmental engineering and education and has more than 25 years’ experience in the waste management and resource recovery sector. She is a Chartered Waste Manager and Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and holds several board positions and various roles on government bodies and statutory authorities.

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