Big commercial waste fee jump could damage business
A FIFTY percent increase to Rockhampton Regional Council commercial waste fees may put people like Peter McCasker of Kanga Bins out of business.
Peter along with his wife Amanda who operate one of the region's largest skip hire companies were asking why there had been such a high rise in commercial waste fees and also about the lack of notice council had given them.
"We only found out last week that this was happening and our business is predominantly the building industry, so we've quoted jobs three to four months in advance."
"If it was a 5% or 10% increase we'd be able to carry it, but this is going to hurt us. It's an act by a monopoly. We've got nowhere else to go." The changes will see the commercial fee general waste rise from $93 a tonne to $157.50 a tonne.
The volume fee if the weighbridge facility is not available for 2012/13 was $46 per m³, and the new fees will charge $82 per m³.
"If I put my rates up to meet this increase, I don't think I'll have a customer," Peter said.
"If it stays the way it is with the downturn, we're not going to survive these fees. If someone's got a trailer of cement that weighs a tonne, they don't have to pay the same fees. If we were all paying the same across the board it would be fair to everybody."
CEO of the Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland Rick Ralph said he wasn't critical of the increase, but sceptical of it.
"I think the reality is that costs will increase, but my bigger concern is to see the budget case, because the council needs to be transparent about where the money's being allocated," Mr Ralph said yesterday.
"The council needs to wake up because businesses are the ratepayers."
Rockhampton Regional Council CEO Evan Pardon said council undertook a review of charges, including benchmarking with other waste management facilities.
"Due to the increased operational costs needed to meet State Government compliance requirements, along with increases in general running costs, council agreed to raise the fees for commercial customers from July 1," Mr Pardon said.
"The fee increase of $104.50/tonne to $157.50/tonne for commercial customers is now closer to the true cost to dispose of waste. Our commercial customers were notified of these changes in early June. Green waste is free to dispose of for all customers."