The State Government says Queensland is one step closer to a zero waste future after it reintroduced a waste disposal levy.
“Since the former LNP government repealed Queensland’s waste levy in 2012, we have been the only mainland state in Australia without a levy,”
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leeanne Enoch, said.
“That has made Queensland a cheap place to dump interstate waste, and since 2012 more than 3.7 million tonnes of waste have been trucked across the border into Queensland.
“On top of that, Queensland has one of the lowest recycling rates in the country.
“Thanks to these new laws we will be able to improve our waste management, stop interstate waste, increase investment in industry, and create more jobs while protecting the environment.”
Ms Enoch said because the waste levy would only be paid on waste that was disposed of to landfill, it would provide a valuable incentive to reduce, reuse and recycle waste as much as possible.
She said 70 per cent of revenue raised from the waste levy would go back to councils, the waste industry, scheme start-up, and environmental programs.
“This is unprecedented in Australia. No other state or territory reinvests that much from their waste levies,” Ms Enoch said.
Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association Australia chief executive officer Gayle Sloan said she was pleased the Government had considered the far-reaching impacts the levy would have on stakeholders in the supply chain.
“The WMRR has long upheld the positive impacts the waste levy would have on Queensland, including improving the state’s economic, environmental and social health,” Ms Sloan said.
The levy will begin on July 1 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.
Local councils have welcomed the new legislation but will remain vigilant in ensuring that households not wear the costs of the waste levy when it is introduced.
“We note the Government’s commitment to ensuring 70 per cent of the revenue raised from the levy would go back to councils and the waste industry to be invested on projects aimed at improving waste management,” Local Government Association of Queensland chief executive Greg Hallam said.
“That is a good outcome, particularly when you compare it with waste levy investment in other states.”