Gympie Regional Council has reversed a controversial decision to raise the price of dump gate fees for household by waste by 20-60 per cent.
Gympie Regional Council has reversed a controversial decision to raise the price of dump gate fees for household by waste by 20-60 per cent. ugurhan

Gympie Council backflips on plan to increase dump gate fees

A CONTROVERSIAL decision to increase Gympie's dump gate fees for household waste by 20-60 per cent has been dropped.

Instead of an $11 hike on ute or single-axle trailer loads and an extra $24 slug to van or dual-axle loads, the prices for these services will increase from $17 to $17.50 and $36 to $37.

Car or 240-litre wheelie bin loads will now only rise from $5.40 to $5.50, instead of the $1.10 rise originally proposed.

The original fees were adopted following the introduction of the State Government's $75 per tonne waste levy.

They attracted criticism from Cr Glen Hartwig, who said the levy should not affect gate fees for household waste, and accused the council of "double dipping" with a $70 charge on top of the levy.

 

Bonnick Rd.
Bonnick Rd. Jacob Carson

State Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said ratepayers taking domestic waste to the tip should not be charged extra.

Mayor Mick Curran said the levy legislation had changed several times since it was brought in.

The changes had created some "confusion" among councillors and any claims of an extra on top of the levy was "completely wrong".

"Councillors gave direction to the staff that the levy would be on-charged at the gate," Cr Curran said.

"It's not there, and never going to be there."

He said the council has now decided to not make that charge.

 

Gympie councillors Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, deputy mayor Bob Leitch, Mayor Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald.
Gympie councillors Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, deputy mayor Bob Leitch, Mayor Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald. Renee Albrecht

"We're required to remit 5 per cent of the 105 per cent we get from the State," he said.

"That will be done through rate notices.

"It's just that rebate will come down because we're not on-charging at the gate.

"The legislation says it should not have an impact on households."

The reduced gate fee hike for domestic waste is not the only change coming to Gympie dumps from July 1.

Lawn clippings and processed or mulched green waste will now be free to dump.

However, he stood behind the introduction gate fees in 2017, a council decision which continues to cause ripples of discontent in the community.

 

Minister Leeanne Enoch.
Minister Leeanne Enoch. Contributed

"Over the last two years we've done an enormous amount of work around waste," he said.

"It wasn't sustainable."

This included dropping kerbside collection price by more than $20, abolishing the $85 waste levy, and axing the $90 and $230 annual charges for ex-Cooloola and ex-Kilkivan shire council residents who had no service.

"It can be assumed that was for free dumping... there's no equity there.

"We're required to introduce user pay wherever we can.

"We're trying to reduce waste.

"We're trying to get people to recycle."

 

Recycling.
Recycling. Stuart Quinn

Stripping those charges out left ratepayers better off even with gate fees, he said.

"If you're going to the dump two or three times a year, you're still $60-plus better off a year than we were two or three years ago."

And of the idea of a handful of annual free tip visits, he said councils which had this service were still funding it through ratepayers.

"People talk about 'free' vouchers... there's no such thing."

Gympie Times


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