Mount Isa heard at Waste Reduction and Recycling (Waste Levy) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (041018)
Mount Isa City Council were amongst 14 witnesses called upon to speak on the Waste Levy bill, which the QLD Government aims to introduce in March 2019.
While sustainable waste reduction practices and recycling efforts are applauded by all witnesses, several councils including Mount Isa, Maranoa, Charters Towers and Isaac have voiced concerns of their inclusion in the zone and the long term impacts of their residents.
Mayor Joyce McCulloch supported the submission of LGAQ and other councils who welcomed the 105 per cent offset for the domestic waste levy, but said the rapid decline of the rebate and no commitment from State Government past 2022 could have a severely negative financial impact on the community.
“The current analysis of waste to landfill volumes show that Mount Isa could expect to pay up to $2.5m in each year in levies after the loss of rebate, which represents 6 per cent of the total rate revenue – this simply cannot be absorbed by the low number of rateable assessments in this city,” she said.
“This city has seen inquiries into the prices of electricity, airfares, access of health care in our community, and most recently the Senate Inquiry into the indicators of, and impact of, regional inequality in Australia.
“Our city is widely known to be disadvantaged in a number of areas due to our remote location and lack of services, and our population simply cannot be put at further risk of being disadvantaged by way of a levy to dispose of waste in a location where all means of supporting waste reduction practices– namely transport, cost of infrastructure and electricity, are already major deterrents to business and industry in Mount Isa.”
Cr McCulloch said sustainable waste and recycling practices were achievable in the community, and Council were excited to forge ahead with the Container Recycling Scheme, and the recycling transfer station due to open this year.
“This council is certainly committed to introducing better waste management practices but the programs must be achievable and sustainable within the challenges of our remote community,” she said.
Cr McCulloch stated the criteria to include Mount Isa and Camooweal in the waste levy zone were based solely on population level exceeding 10,000 people.
“Goondiwindi, with a population exceeding 10,000 people, who were previously included in the 2011 waste levy zone, and is in a considerably less remote location than Mount Isa has already been excluded from the waste levy zone so I question what is the actual basis for including Mount Isa and Camooweal in the waste levy zone?”, Cr McCulloch said.
“Being included in the Zone will place Mount Isa in a lone position amongst the 38 identified levied locations, where we are the most remote, have a small population, and are less likely to attract grant-supported capital investment in waste projects - due to limited volumes, demand and high operating and transport costs,” she said.
“The remoteness of our community and the volumes of waste generated combined, result in our regions challenges in economically viable waste processing options for landfill diversion; and we urge State Government to exclude Mount Isa and Camooweal from the waste levy zone.”
Full details of the hearing, including submissions can be found at http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/ITDEC/inquiries/current-inquiries/10WasteRedRec