Local Member of Parliament Robert Schwarten promoting the recycling of demolition building waste at the old St Johns Hospital site.
Local Member of Parliament Robert Schwarten promoting the recycling of demolition building waste at the old St Johns Hospital site. Chris Ison

Schwarten supports dump levy

MEMBER for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten has hit back at claims dump price rises are a State Government money grab.

Mr Schwarten said over 200 tonnes of recyclable steel would have ended up in the Rocky dump instead of being resold and recycled if some Rockhampton Regional Councillors got their way.

His comments were in response to the council decision to raise dump fees in line with the introduction of the State Government landfill levy next month.

Some councillors, including Brett Svendsen, Glenda Mather and Bill Ludwig expressed their distaste with the levy, saying it was likely to increase roadside dumping and hurt small businesses financially.

Mr Schwarten said local builder JM Kelly was providing a good example in the amount of steel being recycled from the old St John's Hospital site.

"The fact is our local builder JM Kelly is leading the way in recycling building material and the levy will encourage more of this good economic and environmental practice," he said.

Mr Schwarten said by opposing a levy which would encourage more recycling businesses to appear, Councillors Ludwig and Mather were placing a burden on ratepayers.

"We know the trouble this council has had in sourcing a dump site and the cost is in the terms of millions of dollars - all of this affects the ratepayer in the hip pocket," Mr Schwarten said.

"The quicker we fill a dump the more it costs to build another one and all the environmental problems with it," he said

The new levy will add $35 a tonne to most commercial waste taken to council owned tips, but will not apply to the majority of domestic rubbish.

The construction/demolition sector and commercial waste operators were among those expected to be hardest hit.

 

New charges

  • One garbage bag $5
  • Car boot (commercial) $13
  • Car boot (domestic) $8
  • Ute back or trailer (commercial) $23
  • Commercial waste (per tonne) $117


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