The Queensland Government has passed its Waste Reduction and Recycling (Waste Levy) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said Queensland was now one step closer to transitioning to a zero waste future.
The legislation passed today reintroduces a waste disposal levy for Queensland.
“Thanks to these new laws we will be able to improve our waste management, stop interstate waste, increase investment in industry, and create more jobs while protecting the environment,” she said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is also standing by our commitment that Queenslanders will not have to pay more to take out their wheelie bin every week. We are providing advance payments to councils over-and-above the rate of household waste that goes to landfill to ensure the costs are not passed onto ratepayers,” Ms Enoch said.
“There is no doubt we need to do better. At the moment, we are generating more waste than we are growing in population and we are also recycling only 45% of the waste we generate, and this needs to change.”
Ms Enoch said because the waste levy will only be paid on waste that is disposed of to landfill, it will provide a valuable incentive to reduce, reuse and recycle waste as much as possible.
“Part of fighting the war on waste also means changing our way of thinking.
“We need to start seeing waste as a valuable resource and the waste levy will help attract investment, develop new industries and products, and grow jobs across the state in the resource recovery sector.
“Not only is diverting waste away from landfill better for our environment, it also provides more job opportunities. It is estimated that for every 10,000 tonnes of waste disposed in landfill, about three jobs are supported. But if that waste was recycled, this would support about nine jobs.”
Ms Enoch said 70 per cent of revenue raised from the waste levy will go back to councils, the waste industry, scheme start-up, and environmental programs.
“This is unprecedented in Australia. No other state or territory reinvests that much from their waste levies.”
The programs the Palaszczuk Government will fund from the levy include compliance work to reduce the risk of litter and illegal dumping, a school-based education program to help our kids learn about recycling, a regional recycling transport assistance program and support for the construction industry.
Waste Management & Resource Recovery Association Australia CEO Gayle Sloan said that the association appreciated the Queensland Government considering the far-reaching impacts the levy would have on stakeholders in the supply chain.
The WMRR had long upheld the positive impacts the waste levy would have on Queensland, including improving the state’s economic, environmental, and social health.
“With the legislation now in place the Queensland Government can kick this into gear so that we can start to create jobs and investment in the state and fall in step with the rest of Australia in transitioning to a circular economy,” Ms Sloan said, adding that industry is keenly awaiting the 1 July 2019 levy start date.
The levy will begin on 1 July 2019 at a rate of $75 per tonne for general waste, $155 per tonne for Category 1 regulated waste and $105 per tonne for Category 2 regulated waste.