Rockhampton’s Metro Motel owner Greg Browne is ready to throw his council bill in the bin, after being charged for trade waste he says he doesn’t have.
Rockhampton’s Metro Motel owner Greg Browne is ready to throw his council bill in the bin, after being charged for trade waste he says he doesn’t have. Chris Ison

Waste fee worth jail: motel boss

ROCKHAMPTON Metro Motel owner Greg Browne would rather go to jail than send money down the drain on a council charge for something he says he doesn't use.

Mr Browne yesterday said he had received numerous bills from Rockhampton Regional Council for a Fitzroy River Water assessment of his motel for trade waste.

"I know we have no trade waste here so why would I pay for someone to tell me that," a frustrated Greg said yesterday.

Trade waste is liquid waste other than normal water and sewerage waste that is produced by commercial or industrial activity and discharged into sewers.

The council's $174.30 charge is part of its Trade Waste Environmental Management Plan.

Mr Browne said he couldn't justify paying for something he knew he didn't have.

"It doesn't make sense to me," he said.

Mr Browne said he had put in several requests to the council to explain the charge, but had received no response.

"He said the issue over the charge had been going on since the previous owners had separated the motel from its former restaurant.

"The restaurant has trade waste but the 28 rooms that I pay rates for have no liquid waste other than water and sewerage," he said.

"We're hardworking, honest people and we shouldn't have to pay for something we don't have."

Mr Browne said it was a "nasty smack in the face" for the Rockhampton businesses which had struggled during the past 12 months.

He said after constant harassment from the council, a neighbouring motel in a similar predicament had paid the charge "just to get rid of them".

"I'm not going to pay it," he said.

A council spokesman said all commercial businesses that discharged trade waste were required to be assessed to determine whether they required a trade waste permit or agreement.

The spokesman said the charge was an application processing fee adopted to cover the costs incurred to process and assess the trade waste applications.



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