Queensland councils call on the Palaszczuk Government to outline how it will keep its commitment not to tax household rubbish bins, with today’s State Budget only guaranteeing advance waste levy payments to councils for one more year.
Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said councils were deeply concerned today’s budget only funded the State’s advance waste levy payments to councils for the 2021-22 financial year.
Mayor Jamieson called on the Palaszczuk Government not to renege on its promise that households would not have to pay more as a result of the introduction of the waste levy.
“Queensland’s waste levy arrangements only came into effect in 2019 and the Premier and her Government promised councils and their communities that households would not have to pay more as a result,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Yet it has been revealed in the State Budget today that the advance payments to councils to cover the extra costs to households are only guaranteed for one more year.
“I said at the time this levy was introduced that we would never accept a system that leaves households worse off.”
Mayor Jamieson said waste levies in most other states had been operating for 10-20 years and were accompanied by long-term, sustained funding commitments, with councils continuing to receive significant waste levy funding through a range of targeted programs.
“The Palaszczuk Government cannot retreat from these advance payment arrangements without ensuring adequate funding to create the circular economy needed to help Queenslanders ultimately place less waste in their bins,” he said.
“Unfairly penalising households without helping foster the industries and technologies needed to divert more waste away from landfill is unacceptable.
“Queenslanders need certainty. The LGAQ will be seeking an urgent meeting with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon to discuss how they intend to keep their promise to Queenslanders moving forward.”
Mayor Jamieson, however, thanked the Government for listening to the LGAQ and its member councils by dedicating $70 million from the Building our Regions program to funding critical water infrastructure.
“Queensland’s rural towns are fast approaching a water infrastructure cliff with a pipe bursting every 80 minutes,” he said.
“This vital funding will help councils to address these issues.”
Mayor Jamieson said the LGAQ and its member councils will continue to work with the Palaszczuk Government to find ways to further fund critical water infrastructure upgrades and replacements going forward.
Check out our 2021-22 State Budget infographic for more analysis.
For more information, please contact:
Sarah Vogler, Media Executive
Local Government Association of Queensland