CONCERNS: Peter and Chase Lorensen were among the Gympie waste service agents who were outraged over the introduction of a $6.50 report lodgement fee.
CONCERNS: Peter and Chase Lorensen were among the Gympie waste service agents who were outraged over the introduction of a $6.50 report lodgement fee. Scott Kovacevic

Council gives grace period on controversial waste app fee

WASTE treatment service agents are expected to be given a six-month grace period before charges to lodge reports are brought in.

The $6.50 charge sparked outrage among Gympie's agents early this month when they were given just four weeks' notice by Gympie Regional Council of the fee coming in.

The system was also an issue, as reports made outside the Onsite Management App will attract a $50 fee - despite agents being legally required to lodge the report.

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Peter Lorensen Plumbing manager Chase Lorensen said the fee would cost his company $20,000 a year.

It was a cost he said would ultimately have to be passed on to the region's 2800 rural residents who had on-site sewerage and greywater treatment plants.

SEQ Wastewater owner Greg Kiemann said the fees meant the council was charging agents to do their work for them.

Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran.
Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran. Renee Albrecht

According to the report to be put to councillors in today's meeting, the fee will not be introduced until January 1, 2019.

The report says this delay will "enable service agents to appropriately prepare for implementation of the cost recovery program”.

Until now, the OMA app has been free for agents to use.

"However in acknowledging the recent concerns raised by a small number of service agents within the industry, it is recommended that council allow a greater lead-in time for the implementation of this new fee,” it said.

Gympie Times


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