Local government slams landfill levy increase

By Angela Dorizas

The West Australian Government’s decision to increase landfill levies will lead to illegal dumping of waste in parks and reserves, the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) has warned.

The 300 per cent increase in landfill levy charge, announced in the State Budget, will force metropolitan councils to increase rates by $26 per household.

By increasing the landfill levy from $7 a tonne to $28 a tonne, the Department of Environment and Conservation will generate an extra $39 million, which will cover the $3.3 million budget shortfall.

WALGA president Bill Mitchell said the Department of Environment and Conservation was more interested in departmental financial targets than environmental protection.

“The $5.7 million difference is three per cent of the Department’s total budget appropriation which is exactly the same as the Treasurer’s efficiency target for all departments,” Cr Mitchell said.

“Rather than look at how it can reduce expenditure and find efficiencies, the Department seems to have decided it is easier to impose exorbitant fees and make the community pay for their three per cent efficiency target.”

Environment Minister Donna Faragher said the levy would divert waste from landfill and encourage recycling.

“On one hand Environment Minister Donna Faragher claims the increases are to help reduce waste going to landfill while on the other hand admitting the extra revenue would fund other departmental activities,” Cr Mitchell said.

“The increase is simply too extreme to be absorbed by industry and gives no time for recycling practices to be changed which consequently is most likely to lead to increased illegal dumping.:”

He said the State Government failed to consult with local government over the proposed increases, which are due to be introduced by July 1.

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