Qld recycling stop bumps waste levy start

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli has defended the council’s dumping of recyclable waste in landfill. The Ipswich City Council has abandoned recycling and will send its collected waste to landfill.

The Queensland government will bring forward the reintroduction of a waste levy as it attempts to head off a domino effect of councils cancelling their recycling programs.

Ipswich City Council, west of Brisbane, has come under fire for dumping recyclable waste in landfill because it would have cost $2 million a year to comply with China’s tighter imported recycling regulations.

Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said the council’s predicament only arose because its waste collection contract was up for renewal.

“To get a new contract means we are going to be paying five times the amount of money,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“When other councils come to that point in their contracts, they are going to be facing the same financial dilemma.”

Several other councils across the state have their contracts up for renewal over the next two years, leading to concerns they would follow Ipswich’s example and cut their recycling programs.

State government officials met with the Local Government Association of Queensland on Thursday.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said following the meeting they decided to bring forward the reintroduction of the proposed waste levy, previously slated for July 2019, to help subsidise the programs.

“We reckon Queenslanders quite rightly would think waiting a year to reintroduce a waste levy, given what’s happened over the last 24 hours, is too long,” she told reporters on Thursday.

Ms Trad couldn’t say how much sooner the levy would come in but hinted it could be dealt with in the upcoming state budget in June.

LGAQ boss Greg Hallam said the levy would give councils certainty that he hoped would stop them following Ipswich in cancelling recycling programs.

“We have a medium- to long-term solution and that is to take the proceeds of the waste levy and to build five or six state-of-the-art zero waste, waste-to energy plants in Queensland,” Mr Hallam said.

“With certainty around incomes, we can build these plants within two years.”

Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the situation was “appalling” and needed to be rectified, but reintroducing the waste levy was not the answer.

“The Palaszczuk government’s knee-jerk decision to rush through a waste tax, with no details and no consultation, shows Labor is making it up as they go along,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Let’s be frank, the only place that has a waste problem, whether it is dumping recycling in landfill or interstate waste dumping, is Ipswich.”

Gold Coast and Brisbane City Councils stated they were financially unaffected by China’s restrictions on low-grade recyclables.

Gold Coast Councillor Paul Taylor said its waste collection contract had two years to run and it was up to the contractor to absorb any cost increases.

Australian Associated Press

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