New industrial waste levy slammed

COUNCILLOR Glenda Mather has launched a bitter tirade against the State Government and against the introduction of a new industrial waste levy that will be introduced before the end of the year.

She says the tax, which will add $35 a tonne to the bill commercial operators pay when they take waste to landfills, will hit small businesses hard and likely result in more unsightly and dangerous roadside dumping.

"Councils will act as tax collector for the state by charging an additional $35 a tonne for all industrial waste. Once again, as councillors, we have no say in the matter," she said, accusing the Queensland Government of devolving its responsibility.

"This new tax will hit small businesses hard, and many of these will be further hit with the carbon tax. The state plans to raise $100 million. Much of the tax with into the treasury for environmental issues like the maintenance of national parks. This means ratepayers will be paying for state responsibilities."

Cr Mather described it as a disastrous piece of legislation that had not been thought through and which could have far reaching consequences.

"Although there is no framework for the proposed new tax, councils will need to apply for funding to assist in the establishment of transfer stations across the region. Many areas will see their local unmanned stations closed, and in turn this will mean some people facing a long drive to dispose of their rubbish.

"We can expect more roadside dumping because people are not prepared to waste petrol driving many miles to the tip."

She said much of the revenue would be eaten up by red tape and additional layers of administration.

"As businesses are currently treading a fine line to survival, this tax will certainly add further pressure and potentially cause job losses," she said.

The current charge at Rockhampton Regional Council landfills for commercial and industrial waste, such as builder's rubble, is $81.76 a tonne.

Businessman Peter McCasker, co-owner of Rockhampton-based Kanga Bins, said the industry had been anticipating the levy but that did nothing to soften its blow.

And he said industry could expect to be hit with a double whammy next year.

"We anticipate the carbon tax will add another $45 a tonne, making $80 a tonne more for commercial users than they are currently paying. Will that lead to more roadside dumping? Of course it will."

He said Kanga Bins planned to open a metals recycling plant in Rockhampton during 2012.



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