3 July, 2019 –
Queensland’s waste levy has just come into effect (on 1 July 2019) and is the next step in helping us fight the war on waste.
At the moment we are generating waste faster than we are growing in population and we are also recycling only 45% of our waste. This needs to change.
Last year we banned plastic bags and introduced the Container Refund Scheme to reduce litter and encourage recycling. This year, we’re releasing a new comprehensive waste strategy, which is underpinned by the waste levy.
The waste levy is about changing behaviour and you will not have to pay more to put your wheelie bin out.
The State Government is providing annual payments to Councils that covers 105% of the cost of wheelie bin waste, park bins, street sweepings and self-hauled waste.
Queensland previously had a waste levy, however, when the former LNP Government scrapped it in 2012, they robbed us of the opportunity to invest in recycling and put us behind every other mainland Australian state which already have waste levies. That also made us a cheap dumping ground for interstate waste.
The waste levy will encourage greater recycling and create new jobs in the resource recovery and recycling industries. We know that 10,000 tonnes to landfill creates 3 jobs, whereas the same amount recycled creates 9 jobs.
How will this affect businesses?
The impact of the waste levy is avoidable.
The waste levy applies only to waste disposed into landfill, and is an avoidable charge if businesses reduce waste, increase recycling and divert materials to alternative uses.
The Queensland Government is providing funding to help businesses reduce their waste. We are providing an extra $1.8 million for the expansion of CCIQ’s ecoBiz program, on top of the $4 million already provided, which is specifically supporting small businesses to reduce waste.
How much money will the levy collect and how will this be spent?
The waste levy is expected to generate $1.7 billion over the forward estimates.
Between 2019 and 2022, it is expected that 70% of revenue generated through the waste levy will be allocated to advance payments to councils, scheme start-up and operational costs, investment in industry programs and other environmental programs.
Some of these programs include:
- An extra $1.8 million for the expansion of CCIQ’s ecoBiz program (on top of the $4 million already provided) to support small businesses to reduce waste
- $6 million for the Regional Recycling Transport Assistance Program which aims to assist regional councils, and businesses to overcome the higher costs associated with diverting waste from landfill in the regions
- $1 million for a Resource Recovery Industries Roadmap and Action Plan, to position Queensland as a leader in resource recovery
- $6 million in extra funding to expand the Community Sustainability Action Grants Program to include waste, koala conservation and threatened species programs
- $2 million to support the construction industry
Surplus funds from the levy will benefit the entire Queensland community by supporting our schools, hospitals, essential infrastructure and other frontline services.