Big Brother to watch you dump
THE Central Highlands council will install cameras at selected waste transfer stations and landfills to identify users trying to dodge paying a new State Government-imposed waste levy that is leaving the council $450,000 out of pocket to implement.
Mayor Peter Maguire said the levy kicked in on December 1 and had been met with resistance and some confusion at sites now designated as domestic only and others with domestic and commercial status.
"The implementation has started and people need to bear with us because the staff have got a job to do; it's a state-initiated price regime and we've got no choice," he said.
"At this stage, the council is not charging any additional fees.
"We're wearing the cost, but we've got to hire another 3.5 staff, and our annual ongoing costs will include 7.5 operators, an IT component, volumetric surveying and a licence fee that all adds up to $450,000.
"The state will tell you there is funding coming back to us but it's not covering any of that."
Cr Maguire said the simplest way of understanding the sliding levy scale was that it started with a ute-load of waste attracting a $7 fee, $35/tonne for commercial or industrial waste, $50/tonne for low hazard materials and $150/tonne for high hazard regulated waste. There is no levy for green waste.
"To commercial and industrial users, all I can suggest is they pass the cost on," Cr Maguire said.
"The other thing it will hopefully do is encourage those people to recycle.
"As far as green waste is concerned, if it's separated and can be recycled there are no charges, but if there is other stuff mixed in with it like bricks, it will attract the levy.
"There will be cameras put up around the place, and I can see a lot of illegal dumping, but I am hoping people don't.
"I would ask people be patient with staff at these sites."
The levy applies to 34 local government areas and 99% of the Queensland population.