State promises ratepayers won't feel cost of waste levy
A new waste levy for the state of Queensland will come into effect in July this year but the environment minister says ratepayers won’t foot the bill.
The levy will begin on 1 July at a rate of $75 per tonne for general waste, $155 per tonne for Category 1 regulated waste and $105 per tonne for Category 2 regulated waste.
When the levy was proposed last year, Douglas Shire Council raised concerns the levy could directly impact ratepayers.
However, Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said “Queenslanders will not have to pay more to take out their wheelie bin every week.
“We are providing advance payments to councils over-and-above the rate of household waste that goes to landfill to ensure the costs are not passed onto ratepayers.”
Ms Enoch said 70 per cent of revenue raised from the waste levy will go back to councils, the waste industry, scheme start-up, and environmental programs.
The levy will fund compliance work to reduce the risk of litter and illegal dumping, a school-based education program, a regional recycling transport assistance program and support for the construction industry.
According to Ms Enoch, Queensland has the lowest recycling rates of any state or territory and interstate waste has been trucked over the border to avoid levies in other parts of the country.
“Since 2012 more than 3.7 million tonnes of waste have been trucked across the border into Queensland,” she said.
“There is no doubt we need to do better. At the moment, we are generating more waste and we are growing in population and we are also recycling only 45% of the waste we generate, and this needs to change.”
The waste levy will only be paid on waste that is disposed of to landfill, and is designed to incentivise recycling as much as possible.
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