The Queensland Government has announced a $100 million resource recovery fund, more information on the waste levy and a plan to reduce plastic pollution in its state budget.
The government revealed a further $2 million will go towards implementing a Container Refund Scheme, along with its ban on single-use plastic bags.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said that by funding initiatives and programs that push for positive environmental change, the government is delivering a budget firmly focused on the future.
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“To help transition to a low carbon, clean growth economy, there will be $5.6 million in this coming budget to help Queensland adapt to the impacts of a changing climate,” Ms Enoch said.
“These major plastic-reducing initiatives are not far away, with the ban on plastic bags coming into effect in less than a month, and Container Refund Scheme coming into effect in November.”
The budget also revealed the already announced waste disposal levy, more information on that here, which will begin in the first quarter of 2019 and apply to 38 local government areas, covering more than 80 per cent of the state’s population. It will be set at $70 a tonne for general waste and increase by $5 per annum, with the process going to waste programs, environmental priorities and community purposes.
There will also be $100 million allocated over three years to support the resource recovery and recycling industry through its Resource Recovery Industry Development Program.
An annual advance will be provided on levy charges to local governments disposing of municipal waste in the levy zone, with $32 million in 2018-19 for this.
The budget also includes $5 million to go to waste to energy and $5 million over two years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities to remove metal waste and vehicle stockpiles in areas which comprise the Torres Strait Island Regional Council, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council and Torres Shire Council.
It will also offer $3.9 million over for years to continue to deliver its ecoBiz program, that helps small to medium-sized businesses identify and achieve financial savings and eco-efficiency in energy, water and waste.