Return Waste Levy to Region

Filed under Council, Environment & Pollution, News ~ by Press on  27 Oct 2019

Newcastle City calls for greater access to waste levy funds.

City of Newcastle has again called for the State Government’s imposed waste levy funds to be returned so council can improve waste management services.

The NSW State Government collects about $800 million from councils as part of the waste levy each year.

Less than a third of that money is spent on programs to reduce waste.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said more funds should be available to City of Newcastle to drive efficiency and innovation in waste management.

For more than a decade we’ve been crying out to get a bigger piece of the pie so local waste can be managed locally. It’s clear this would allow us to achieve much better environmental outcomes,” the Lord Mayor said.

We would use this money to focus on waste reduction, avoidance and re-use programs, environmental programs as well as to encourage the development of innovative waste management technology.

Successive NSW Governments have failed to effectively leverage waste levy funds to support the development of these much-needed services and facilities, leaving us and the entire state to be dependent on landfill for waste disposal.

Our Summerhill Waste Management Centre is one of the most efficient in NSW and has a strong track record of being ahead of the game in terms of environmental sustainability, however it has incredible potential that is being held back by a lack of funding.

Ratepayers are paying for the responsible management of their waste. However, we see this tax not making its way back to the local level leaving City of Newcastle with very little funds to deal with an enormous waste management responsibility.”

The Lord Mayor said there should be greater taxpayer value for money instead of consistent levy rises which are inevitably passed on through the facility’s fees and charges.

Over the past 11 years we have seen the levy paid increase from $10.4 million in 2008/09 to $32.6 million in 2018/19. This has been caused by higher tonnages but also above-CPI hikes in the levy itself which grew from $45 per tonne to $141.20 per tonne over the same period.

That is more than a 300 per cent increase in eleven years. In total the City of Newcastle has paid $210 million in waste levies over the past eleven years.

We are not seeing this value returned to the ratepayer due to the levy being kept by the state government and that must change.”



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