Rocky's tax burden a bit murky

THERE are murky waters surrounding Rockhampton Regional Council's future carbon tax costs.

Council CEO Evan Pardon said it was estimated the council's annual liability would be less than $1 million a year - a figure which does not include a deducted amount for an offset gas management system.

Compared to other regional councils Rockhampton appears to have escaped lightly, but there are other factors the council has yet to resolve that could impact the liability.

The Lakes Creek Rd landfill is due to close in December next year and Mr Pardon said the council was still trying to determine how long it would be liable to pay for that landfill.

"That liability continues after the landfill closes down," he said.

Another factor will come when the council has a replacement for the Lakes Creek landfill, how much it will cost and whether the replacement will be charged the carbon tax.

If the replacement does not get charged the carbon tax, and council deems it financially unfeasible to install a gas management system or another tax offset system, Rockhampton's liability will be close to par with other regions.

A Gladstone Regional Council spokesman said a carbon-price assessment for Benaraby Landfill estimates the liability under the Federal Government's Carbon Pricing Mechanism will be between $51m and $52m.

"Council is currently having a landfill gas management system installed which will be operational before July 1," the spokesman said.

"With no gas capture this liability would be in excess of $120m.

"Subject to the assessment of the volume and quality of gas, it is proposed that a generator will be installed to produce electricity to go into the grid."

The Mackay Daily Mercury yesterday reported the Mackay Regional Council would fork out $75m for the release of carbon from the Hogan's Pocket landfill site near Eton.

But with the use of gas flaring to burn off excess carbon, the tax bill could be lowered to $36m over the 50-year life of the landfill site.


Councils' cost

(without installing a landfill gas management system)

  • Gladstone - $4 million a year
  • Mackay - $1.5 million a year
  • Rockhampton - less than $1 million a year

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