EMRC to deliver COVID and FOGO dividends

Western Australia’s Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) will provide a $5 million dividend to member councils to ensure the delivery of essential services such as waste management during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move follows an earlier decision to distribute $13.8 million to pay for bins, caddies, community education and related costs of members council’s forthcoming kerbside FOGO system.

The EMRC, which represents six member councils in Perth’s Eastern Region, voted unanimously in favour of the COVID-19 dividend at a special meeting on 16 April, with funds payable by 30 June.

According to an EMRC statement, the money will be drawn equally from the EMRC’s Municipal Fund and Future Development Reserve.

“The $5 million COVID-19 dividend will be distributed to the EMRC’s six member councils before the end of the financial year to help them implement and maintain emergency support measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement reads.

The EMRC has also agreed that it will not adjust the secondary waste reserve charge applied to landfill tonnages from member councils for the 2020/2021 financial year.

EMRC Chairman Jai Wilson said EMRC councillors understood the pressures their member councils were under to keep rates down, while at the same time delivering essential services to their communities.

“That is why we have taken decisive action to pay a dividend of $5m to assist our member councils with their upcoming budgets and ease some of the cost pressures on our communities,” he said.

“I would like to thank councillor Mel Congerton for moving this motion, and all my fellow councillors for acting decisively to unanimously support his motion.”

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EMRC appoints new CEO

A new Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) Chief Executive Officer has been appointed, replacing Peter Schneider who resigned in November 2018.

WA Waste Authority Chairman Marcus Geisler has been selected for the role, having served as authority chairman since 2014, in addition to holding senior management positions with Coates Hire, Thiess and SITA – WA’s largest waste management company.

EMRC Chairman David McDonnell said Mr Geisler’s experience in waste processing includes composting organics and alternative waste treatment processes, and the recovery and marketing of secondary materials ranging from construction and demolition waste to kerbside recyclables.

“His extensive advocacy experience, firsthand knowledge of the commercial waste and recycling industry and his commitment to the local government sector will be instrumental in guiding the EMRC forward as a progressive organisation representing the interests of Perth’s Eastern Region and the 365,000 people who call it home,” Mr McDonnell said.

“At the Waste Authority, Mr Geisler’s negotiating skills and commitment to strong engagement successfully brought together state and local governments, industry and the community to enable implementation of the State’s Waste Strategy.”

Mr McDonnell thanked Regional Services Director Wendy Harris for her contributions as acting CEO over the past six months.

Mr Geisler is due to take up his new position on 15 July 2019.

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