Dump fees could go higher: Carter

MAYOR Brad Carter yesterday warned the Rockhampton region’s dump users could be slugged with even higher fees in coming years because it would cost council millions more to run its landfills.

Cr Carter said the Australian Government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme would add millions to the cost of running the region’s three landfills because council would be forced to pay a tax on the carbon released at the sites.

“We will have no choice but to pay this hefty tax which is likely to be legislated by the Federal Government throughout the country on all landfill operations by local authorities,” Cr Carter said.

The mayor yesterday responded to concerns about a rise in illegal dumping, particularly on the Capricorn Coast, after Rockhampton Regional Council changed its landfill policies, removing the former Livingstone council’s voucher system as well as raising prices at the Rockhampton dump.

He recognised reports of an increase in illegal dumping and said he would meet with fellow councillors, including Bill Ludwig and Brett Svendsen, to discuss different options.

Cr Carter believes council needs to undertake a “massive education campaign” to help make the community more environmentally aware.

He argued the illegal dumping situation would improve.

He said when new landfill practices had been introduced in other parts of the country, such as areas of Melbourne, there was a temporary rise in illegal dumping, but things returned to normal once the community became used to the changed system.

Cr Carter said council had little choice about changing the way it ran the region’s landfills given state regulation meant it had to recover all costs involved in the process.

Meanwhile, council is warning the community it has a low tolerance of those who illegally dump rubbish.

Offenders face hefty fines. “The community needs to learn new practices to ensure they are reducing their waste.

“ ... Fines administered by council for littering range from $200 to $1650 for large quantities. If the matter goes before a magistrate the maximum penalty that can be imposed is $16,500.”

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