Dreyfus speaks on carbon tax

LANDFILL users may have to pay $26 a tonne to drop waste at their local tip when the carbon tax is implemented on July 1.

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Mark Dreyfus spoke to a national meeting of more than 800 local government leaders in Canberra on Tuesday.

Mr Dreyfus addressed the Australian Local Government Association about the expected impact of the carbon tax on councils.

In an effort to dispel what he called myths surrounding the tax, he said councils liable to pay the tax would not need to charge any more than $26 a tonne.

While the tax will cost $23 a tonne from July 1, the extra $3 a tonne was expected to cover operational costs.

Confusion on how the tax will impact council was heightened since last Friday's addition of 19 councils across regional Queensland and New South Wales to the government's "liable entities" database.

Greens Leader Christine Milne also addressed the ALGA conference, but on the minority party's support for constitutional recognition of local government.

Senator Milne said local governments could take a lead role in green initiatives, but constitutional recognition of the third tier of government was essential to deliver funding.

"Australia's councils are supporting our local communities to go green, with energy efficiency and solar hot water programs, biodiversity projects funded by the $1 billion Biodiversity Fund secured by the Greens, and building public support for nuclear free council zones," she said.

"There is no doubt that local government is integral to building the cleaner, smarter and healthier Australia that communities want.

"There should be no more delay - I encourage local governments and communities to campaign with the Greens in Parliament to put pressure on the government to schedule the referendum for the next election."

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