The Queensland Government introduced to Parliament the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Waste Levy) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (the Waste Levy Bill) on 6 September 2018. Public submissions are now open
Submissions on the Bill are due 19 September 2018.
The Bill aims to improve waste management and recycling practices by putting a price on municipal; commercial and industrial; and construction and demolition waste. A total of 9.8m tonnes of municipal; commercial and industrial; and construction and demolition waste was reported in Queensland in 2016-2017, of which 44% ended up in landfill.
The removal of a waste levy by the former Queensland Government (2012-2015) sparked a significant rise in inefficient waste practices and interstate dumping that has left a legacy for which Queenslanders still suffer the burden. Media reports in 2017 revealed NSW waste operators routinely took advantage of Queensland’s lack of waste levy, with an estimated 1m tonne of waste being trucked across the state border.
The Bill was referred to the Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee for detailed consideration, with a report date of 22 October 2018. It is currently open for public comment.
The Bill is an important step towards Queensland improving its waste management practices, as it seeks to make landfill a less attractive option for the disposal of certain classes of waste which will better sustain Queensland’s natural environment.
EDO Qld generally supports the Bill, however advocates for stronger protections, listed below, and a higher levy rate to ensure the transition to more efficient waste practices happens in a timely manner.
 Qld Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Recycling and Waste in Queensland 2017, (2017) https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/waste/pdf/recycling-waste-qld-2017-report.pdf.
RECOMMENDATION: The levy needs to match the NSW levy to genuinely stop cross border arbitrage and dumping.
RECOMMENDATION: The removal of waste levy and non-waste levy zones and the introduction of a state-wide levy with differing rates for rural and regional areas.
RECOMMENDATION: The annual payment to local government must be tied to improving waste and recycling facilities and education in the local government area only.
The closing date for written submissions is 4:00pm on 19 September 2018.
Submissions should be sent to:
Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee
Brisbane Qld 4000
Submissions should include:
- the author’s name and signature
- if the submission is made on behalf of an organisation, the level of approval (e.g. a local branch, executive committee or national organisation)
- mailing address (and email if available), and
- day time telephone number.
Please ensure your submission includes the above or it may not be considered by the committee.
Guidelines for making a submission to a parliamentary committee are available here: Guide to making a submission. Please ensure your submission meets these requirements.