Gympie set for new rubbish fees

THE days of free garbage disposal in the Gympie Region are numbered, with big new taxes next year on commercial and construction waste and the likelihood of fees being charged on all landfill rubbish.

The issue arose at this week’s meeting of council’s Community and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday.

Works Committee chairman Larry Friske said the new taxes were part of government moves towards eventually achieving 100 per cent recycling of all garbage.

In the meantime, however, they would have the effect of forcing council to be a tax collector.

“It’s another way of making the State Government money and making us the fall guys,” Cr Friske said.

Although the taxes as immediately proposed will only apply to commercial and construction waste, they are widely seen as a prelude to fees for all non-recycling garbage disposal, as commonly applies in many other regional council areas.

Council staff reported to the meeting that pamphlets on the new taxes had been sent to builders and industry to encourage them to sort their rubbish first, to save money by separating recyclables.

“Council will be forced to levy a tax on all landfill, including unsorted rubbish,” a staff member said.

Cr Graham Engeman said the cost of disposing of building and demolition waste would be higher at places like Goomeri and Tansy, where there were no concrete crushers or other expensive recycling equipment.

Committee chairman Tony Perrett said: “No-one’s going to transport waste 40 to 60km to a recycling facility, so the cost will go on top of house prices.

“It works only in the larger areas. It’s not sustainable,” he said.

Gympie Times

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