Ten Far North Queensland councils will share in nearly $3.7 million from the Palaszczuk Government to ensure ratepayers will not pay more for the introduction of the waste disposal levy.
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to ensuring Queenslanders will not be paying more to put out their wheelie bin, or take a load of rubbish to the tip, when the waste levy comes into effect on July 1.
“We are assisting councils by providing advance payments to ensure costs associated with the waste levy are not passed onto ratepayers,” she said.
“No other Australian state does this.
“We are providing funding to councils that covers 105% of what they dispose in municipal waste, which means they are able to use the extra funds to invest in facilities and waste management programs.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the advance payment covers councils’ municipal solid waste, which includes wheelie bins, self-hauled waste to the dump, street sweepings and park maintenance.
“A total $143 million is being provided to 43 Queensland councils this year in advance payments, before the waste levy comes into effect,” he said.
“Queensland is fighting a war on waste, and the introduction of the waste levy will increase investment in the recycling and resource recovery industry and create more jobs.”
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said at the moment Queensland is generating waste faster than it is growing in population.
“We are also recycling only 45% of the waste we generate. That is why the Palaszczuk Government is taking action,” she said.
“We are currently the only mainland state in Australia without a waste levy, but this will change from July 1, when we’ll be able to start investing in more recycling and resource recovery industries.
“The introduction of the waste levy also builds on the work the Palaszczuk Government is already doing to improve waste management, including the ban on single-use plastic bags and the container refund scheme, which both came into effect last year.”
Ms Enoch said there were more job opportunities in resource recovery industries.
“It is estimated that for every 10,000 tonnes of waste disposed in landfill, about three jobs are supported. But if that waste was recycled, this would support about nine jobs.
“Imagine the opportunities we’ll have in Queensland when we increase investment in the industry.”
The Palaszczuk Government is investing in better waste management, including the $100 million industry development program, $5 million Ready Levy Grants and $6 million to help offset the higher costs of transporting recycling material from regional areas.
Further information on the Queensland waste levy is available at www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/recovery/disposal-levy.
Councils and the breakdown of the $3,695,965 in funding they will receive are:
• Cairns Regional Council – $973,758
• Cassowary Coast Regional Council – $1,142,323
• Cook Shire Council – $86,565
• Douglas Shire Council – $119,613
• Hinchinbrook Shire Council – $417,063
• Tablelands Regional Council – $674,986
• Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council – $17,528
• Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council – $44,299
• Mareeba Shire Council – $219,830