Council asks state for relief from new levy
CHINA’S decision to stop accepting waste from other nations is reverberating through the recycling industry in Australia, not least the role of local governments.
Douglas Shire this week announced it will lodge a submission to protect Douglas ratepayers from proposed levies in the State Government’s new waste management strategy.
The Government plans to reintroduce a waste disposal levy next year, triggered by China’s disruption of the recycling industry business model here.
Mayor Julia Leu said Council supported the levy and recognised its importance in moving Queensland closer towards a circular economy.
“We want to make sure our ratepayers aren’t the ones who wear the cost,” she said.
“It is vital this proposed levy is not rushed and regional areas such as Douglas Shire are guaranteed access to funds to help us keep up with the latest technology and gain access to markets.
“The levy will provide muchneeded funding for infrastructure, innovation, processing technologies, education and waste minimisation programs to drive components of the waste hierarchy.”
Douglas Shire and Cairns are the only two Councils north of Ingham to provide kerbside and public place recycling. Douglas has provided this service since 1996 and has moved to stop landfilling by entering into contracts with the Bedminster Advanced Waste Treatment (AWT).
The submission has been lodged to the Department of Environment and Science.
Mayor Leu said the levy could have significant financial and resource impacts on Council.
“Council is requesting that street and park litter bins, as well as council-generated waste are either excluded from the levy or treated as Municipal Solid Waste (MSW),” Mayor Leu said.
“Douglas Shire Council considers waste a resource and continues to commit to programs and processes that reduce, reuse and recycle waste products to stop this resource ending up in landfill.”
Meanwhile, Port Douglas and Daintree this week moved a step closer to being certified Australia’s first eco-certified tourism area.
Under the program being driven by Council, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, and Ecotourism Australia, operators will be given guidance and assistance to complete their eco-accreditation.
We want to make sure our ratepayers aren’t the ones who wear the cost. It is vital this proposed levy is not rushed
Mayor Julia Leu