Time to freeze the waste
|13 April 2017
The LGA has asked the Government to freeze the Solid Waste Levy in its 2017/18 State Budget, and commit to spending money already collected through the Levy to date.
The Solid Waste Levy – a State Government tax payable on waste sent to landfill – has increased from $5 a tonne in metro areas in 2003/04 to $76 a tonne in 2016/17.
LGA President Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg said annual increases to the Waste Levy were putting increasing pressure on council budgets and ratepayers.
“Just in the last two years, we’ve already seen the Levy increase a whopping 46%, from $52 to $76 a tonne in metro areas, and from $26 to $38 a tonne in regional SA,” Mayor Rosenberg said.
“It’s scheduled to climb again by a further 14% – to $87 in metro areas and $43.50 in our regions – on 1 July 2017, and at this level is expected to cost councils and communities around $29 million next financial year.”
“We support the Government’s commitment to providing incentives for people to recycle. However, it shouldn’t be through a net cost to the community, or an ineffective tax that has minimal demonstrable impact on individual household behavior.”
“Councils are already facing rising energy prices and declining federal grants, and we’re asking the State Government to provide communities with some relief through freezing the Levy in this year’s Budget.”
Half of the revenue collected through the Solid Waste Levy is provided to the EPA (which currently makes an annual profit), with the other half provided to Green Industries South Australia.
Mayor Rosenberg said the LGA is also calling on the Government to spend money previously collected through the Levy and sitting in the Green Industries Fund.
“We acknowledge and appreciate that the Government has released some money from the Green Industries Fund over the past twelve months to support waste recovery and climate change issues,” Mayor Rosenberg said.
“However, the money is being collected faster than it’s being spent, and this has resulted in the fund ballooning to around $90 million.”
“In the interests of transparency, the State should outline how it plans to invest the entirety of this fund to support positive outcomes in the waste management sector.”