Waste levy a reality as laws pass
QUEENSLAND'S new waste levy has passed State Parliament, with the tax set to raise $1.3 billion over the next four years.
The Government introduced the levy in a bid to stem the flow of inter-state dumping in Queensland, but it was rubbished by the LNP amid fears that costs will be passed onto families.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch touted the laws this afternoon, claiming they will improve waste management and stop Queensland from being the country's dumping ground.
But she was also quick to play down concerns that families would be slugged with extra costs.
"The Palaszczuk Government is also standing by our commitment that Queenslanders will not have to pay more to take out their wheelie bin every week," she said.
"We are providing advance payments to councils over-and-above the rate of household waste that goes to landfill to ensure the costs are not passed onto ratepayers."
The Government claims about 70 per cent of the revenue raised from the levy will go to councils, the waste industry and environmental programs, while it is understood the rest will go to consolidated revenue.
The scheme will kick off from July 1, at a rate of $75 per tonne for general waste, $155 per tonne for category-one regulated waste and $105 per tonne for category-two regulated waste.
The LNP voted against the legislation and were frustrated that debate on the laws was restricted by the Government.
Opposition environment spokesman David Crisafulli said the levy was a broken promise that was had not even been flagged by the Government at the last election.
"This new tax will in fact hurt each and every Queenslander each and every day," he said during the debate.
"It's a tax, it's a money grab.
"Nearly 90 per cent of funds collected will return to government in some form or another."
The Local Government Association of Queensland welcomed the laws, but said it would remain vigilant to ensure households did not wear the costs.
LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam was pleased with the Government's commitment that 70 per cent of the revenue raised from the levy would go back to councils and the waste industry.