Community members can expect additional opening hours at waste facilities across the Central Highlands as council recruits more staff. Photo: file
Community members can expect additional opening hours at waste facilities across the Central Highlands as council recruits more staff. Photo: file

Longer dump hours as council recruits extra staff

Two extra positions have been created to assist with additional opening hours at waste facilities across the Central Highlands.

The Capella community submitted a petition with its preferred operating hours to Central Highlands Regional Council in April, prompting council to review its options.

Manager Planning and Environment Kirstin Byrne said recruiting extra positions was a short-term solution while council’s long-term waste strategy was developed.

“After the introduction of the Queensland Waste Levy on 1 July 2019, council was required to put in place waste disposal controls across all our waste facilities,” she said.

“To assist us in fulfilling our monitoring and reporting obligations under the state levy, 24/7 access was no longer an option so manned opening hours had to be brought in and CCTV cameras installed.

“Significant community consultation was undertaken as part of the transition and following community feedback, changes were made to the hours at several of our facilities in line with user needs.

“But it takes time to trial changes like this and sometimes things just don’t work.”

The short term solution is expected to benefit local communities while a longer term solution is developed. Picture: Tara Miko
The short term solution is expected to benefit local communities while a longer term solution is developed. Picture: Tara Miko

Ms Byrne said things like budget, delivery costs, technology, staffing and environmental impacts all had to be taken into consideration, as well as ensuring service levels across the region remained fair and proportionate.

“The goal of the levy is to reduce waste to landfill, and that is still something we want to work with the state government to achieve,” she said.

“Increased hours are convenient, but they do little to encourage the community to manage their waste generation.

“It’s a delicate balancing act of practicality, legal obligations, and sustainability, but we will work through this as we develop our waste strategy.

“We also recognise the community’s frustrations and the need for a short-term fix.”

Ms Byrne said recruitment was underway for two extra resource recovery attendants, with council liaising with community reference groups in Duaringa, Bluff, the Gemfields, Capella, Rolleston and Springsure to discuss what’s going to work and where.

“We have to make sure it’s fair across the board,” she said.

“We have listened and will keep listening.”

Feedback is welcomed from the public via phone on 1300 242 686, email at enquiries@chrc.qld.gov.au or the Have Your Say Central Highlands platform.

Originally published as Longer dump hours as council recruits extra staff



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