Curran: 'Don't blame us for latest dump fee hike'
AN UNDER fire Mayor Mick Curran said he was "disappointed” the State Government's new waste levy had left Gympie Regional Council holding the baby.
Hot on the heels of a barrage of online criticism over the decision to raise gate prices at Gympie's dumps as a result of the new $75 per tonne levy introduced in February, Cr Curran this week shot down the idea the move was merely a case of council revenue raising.
Under the new charges adopted this week by the council, a car or 240L wheelie bin-worth of rubbish will cost $6.50 to dump, up from $5.40.
The price hike is more severe for utes, vans and single and double axle trailer-loads, which have skyrocketed more than 60 per cent. These sized loads will now attract charges of $28.90 or $60.
More than 500kg of waste will cost at least $219 to dispose of.
The State Government has championed the move as a win for the environment and putting an end to interstate dumping in Queensland's landfills.
The previous waste levy of $35 per tonne was scrapped by the LNP state government in 2012.
State Treasurer Jacki Trad and Environment Minister Leeanne Encoh have stressed a rebate to councils will ensure household waste collection will not cost more.
By introducing the levy, Cr Curran said the State had erased the "diligent work” the council had done to keep the cost of rubbish removal down.
This includes axing the region's $85 rates waste levy, eradicating a $230 waste charge to residents on the region's eastern side and reducing the cost of household kerbside collection.
A rebate is expected to be given to ratepayers to offset the cost of the levy which is expected to raise $1.3 billion over four years.
Cr Curran is unimpressed the levy will raise more money than the cost of waste removal.
"It's disappointing that you read the funds will be sent to other services (such as infrastructure),” he said.
This was at odds with what councillors were told when the levy was first raised in meetings, he said.
However commercial operators have said they will be forced to pass the increased cost on to their customers.
Cr Curran did not refute this would happen, with concrete disposal ballooning 553 per cent (now $98 a tonne) and tyres disposal up 11-17 per cent.