Minister: Gympie ratepayers shouldn't be paying more at tip
THE stench of last week's dump fee hikes continues to linger, with rebel councillor Glen Hartwig calling it a council "double dip” and the Environment Minister saying ratepayers should not be paying more at the tip.
Cr Hartwig said yesterday the increases, which include a rise of 20 per cent for car loads and more than 66 per cent for utes, vans and trailers, should be offset by a 105 per cent advance payment which negates the rise on domestic rubbish.
He said this payment was calculated on municipal solid waste, which included garbage hauled in by car.
"The way they've done it there is no need for any price rise on domestic or residential waste disposal,” he said.
Only commercial waste would feel the extra $75 pinch, he said. The reason for the rise, he said, was another $70 per tonne being added to the gate price along with the levy.
"Because we've added another $70 a tonne to the self-dumping, (in my opinion) we're double dipping.
"It's inappropriate to blame the State Government for that because it's a fee and a charge that we've decided to add on.
"We're getting reimbursed (for the levy) once, and charging it twice.”
A council spokesman said the price rises were all in line with the increase caused by the levy, which raised their per tonne rate by 63 per cent.
"All general waste charges went up for approximately the same percentage apart from car and wheelie bins that were increased to match the kerbside collection charge divided by the 52 weeks of a year,” he said.
How the offset - which is $1.375 million this year and paid to the council before the levy starts on July 1 - will be handled was still under discussion.
"Council will receive an annual payment from the state to mitigate any direct impact of the levy on households.
"How this amount will be passed on to ratepayers is currently being considered as part of council's budget process which is still currently underway,” he said.
However, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said new legislation's goal, and who should bear the cost of it, was clear.
"Ratepayers should not be paying more to put out their wheelie bins, or take a load of rubbish to the tip, because of the introduction of a waste levy. The Qld Government is providing councils - like Gympie - with advance payments to ensure they do not have to pass on the cost to ratepayers.
"In fact, we are advancing councils more than the cost of disposing their municipal waste... to encourage better management of waste and a reduction of waste going to landfill.
"This advance payment includes wheelie bins, self-hauled waste to the dump, street sweepings and park maintenance.”