05 September, 2012

Waste Levy Media Frenzy

One of the first tasks for the new Environment Minister – Andrew Powell was given was to repeal the former Government’s Waste Levy.

The previous Labor Government only recently introduced a Waste Tax in December 2011, with a focus on reducing waste & promoting improved resource recovery.

The Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 was introduced as an industry waste levy to create a price signal to encourage waste generators to focus on waste avoidance & resource recovery & to discourage unnecessary landfill disposal. 

The levy was designed to ensure a level of consistency with waste disposal costs in other states to deter unnecessary disposal of interstate waste in Queensland.

It remains to be seen if the Qld LNP Government can find alternative funding streams to deliver an industry driven waste strategy as part of the budget process.

Last night, Tony Moore called me at home to ask for a comment on the increase of waste being trucked into Queensland as a result of the removal of the $35/t Waste Levy....

The next day, this story appeared in the Brisbane Times.

Then the phone rang.

I was invited to be interviewed on ABC Local Radio Station: 612Brisbane by both Amanda Dell and Scott Sparks,

This story aired on Steve Austin's Morning Program.

A little later this story appear in the Telegraph

Gary Hargraves from 4BC chatted to me briefly on his drive program.

I don't fore see the Qld Government backing down on the removal of the waste levy.  The NSW Government is set to increase their levy.

By the time I got to speak to Nicole Dyer on ABC Local Radio on the Gold Coast, I was getting sick of the blame game.

It is a perverse outcome that waste is being transferred across vast distances but we (as a society) need to take more responsibility for the waste that we generate and work with regulators and service providers on better policies and different business models.

Perhaps we need to call this stuff something else other than "Waste"....

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