$5 million funding ensures councils are waste levy ready

The Palaszczuk Government will invest $5 million in local councils to get them ‘levy ready’ in time for the introduction of Queensland’s waste disposal levy on 4 March 2019.

From 31 August 2018, local governments can apply for funding under the 2018-19 Local Government Levy Ready Grant Program, which supports infrastructure improvements at waste disposal facilities.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said grant funding could be used for fencing, security cameras, upgrading IT and signage.

“We want councils to have efficient, accurate and secure levy collection at landfill facilities,” Ms Enoch said.

“Local councils with waste disposal facilities where annual disposal of more than 5,000 tonnes of waste is allowed can apply for infrastructure funding for weighbridges and gatehouses.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to making sure there is no impact on municipal waste collection through the introduction of the waste levy.

“There will be no extra cost to putting your wheelie bin on the footpath each week, and we are keeping that commitment.”

The grant program is being administered by the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs, on behalf of the Department of Environment and Science.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the amount of waste generated in Queensland was increasing faster than Queensland’s population was growing.

“Reintroducing a waste disposal levy is part of our broader strategy to improve waste recycling and recovery and support jobs growth,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Our local councils will play a key role in helping their communities reduce waste and increase resource recovery.

“That’s why we’re doing all we can to help councils get ready.”

Ms Enoch said Queensland’s new waste disposal levy would also lead to the creation of jobs, local waste management and resource recovery solutions, and market development, particularly in regional areas.

“This will provide a growing incentive for the community and business to take advantage of expanding resource recovery and recycling options across the state,” she said.

“The levy will also bring Queensland in line with New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, which have similar levies.

“When Queensland introduced a waste levy in 2011, resource recovery companies invested in new recycling and processing infrastructure to process material diverted from landfill.

“This helped to create new employment and market development opportunities for the sector.

“But when that levy was recklessly repealed by the former LNP Government, landfill disposal increased as New South Wales waste was shipped across the border and recycling remained flat.”

The 2018-19 Local Government Levy Ready Grant Program will be open for local government submissions between 31 August and 12 October 2018.

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