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News in brief

Browse our news stories about the activities and achievements of Queensland local councils and learn more about the challenges and issues affecting local government and their communities.

Many of these stories are published in our weekly enewsletter Council Courier. If you would like to know more about these stories please contact the LGAQ media and communications team on 1300 542 700. 

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Councils meet to debate pressure on waste services

The ability of local government to determine its own waste management services still hangs in the balance without a clear commitment from the State Government on a vital piece of legislation.  

Last Friday representatives from almost 30 councils met at the LGAQ to debate their ongoing concerns and a way forward with King and Company Solicitors on hand to respond to their questions. 

The regulation at the centre of the debate is Section 7 of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Regulation 2011.  The section, which LGAQ secured a 12-month extension until 1 July 2018, essentially provides councils the certainty to deliver waste services most appropriate to their local communities.

In opening the roundtable, LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam outlined uncertainty in the current political environment and that the risks and impacts on councils if these provisions are allowed to expire, 

“Without these provisions councils would have a reduced ability to control and regulate collection activities resulting in negative impacts on public health, safety and amenity from a considerable increase in truck movements, lack of coordinated collection in each area and a lack of consideration regarding collection times and bin servicing.”

In addition to the negative public amenity concerns, the LGAQ has resolutely advocated to Ministers that councils would likely incur a loss of economies of scale resulting in an increase in domestic waste management utility charges and disposal fees.  An inability of councils to manage services, would likely result in the waste industry ‘cherry picking’ commercially profitable non-domestic waste services and leave the least profitable services under the management of councils.

“Councils are basically at the cross roads where they either hold their breath to see what the State does next under the pressure of some in the waste industry, or we have to get on with the job of making a local law to legitimately replace the need to rely on a regulation which has an incongruous sunset clause.” Greg said.