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Volunteer group's outrage over tip fee

Landcare president Mike Johnson is upset the Bundaberg Regional Council did not waive the green waste fee, but charged as if they were a business.
Landcare president Mike Johnson is upset the Bundaberg Regional Council did not waive the green waste fee, but charged as if they were a business. Zach Hogg BUN110314FIG3

CLAIMS there is a lack of community spirit in the Rum City have come to light from a not-for-profit organisation.

The claims come after Bundaberg Landcare were denied a reduction in tip fees.

On July 12 a Landcare volunteer took "three plants" to a Bundaberg Regional Council waste facility in his own car and trailer.

The trees were cleared from the Bundaberg Landcare Nursery after they took possession from the Salvation Army.

When the volunteer arrived at the facility he advised the weighbridge clerk that it was green waste from not-for-profit organisation, Landcare.

To his shock the attendant advised instead of paying a normal ratepayer rate (which he was have been happy to pay) his load was then classes as a "business load".

He was charged $24 to dump the trees.

Landcare president Mike Johnson wrote to the council requesting the fees be waived.

The council responded stating it currently provided financial and in-kind support to a vast network of local charities and not-for-profit organisations.

But Bundaberg and Urban District Landcare Association's request for a fee waiver of green waste was denied.

Mr Johnson said it was the first, and now last, time in the 30 year history of the organisation it had used the waste facility.

He said the council's community focus had fallen short and no-one seemed to want to work together any more.

"How can we all build a community if we can't work together," Mr Johnson said.

"I think it's bullshit.

"None of us, Landcare volunteers, get paid.

"The council seem to have forgotten how to support the community."

Mr Johnson said other not-for-profit organisation were given a reduction or fees waived all together and he just wanted to be in the same boat.

"The take home message was to all not-for-profit organisations is do not mention you work for a community organisation," he said.

The NewsMail contacted the Bundaberg Regional Council regarding the issue raised by Landcare.

But it was not able to respond before the deadline.



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