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Queensland government to introduce waste levy after months of pressure

Jorge Branco and colleagues report in the Brisbane Times (20.3.18) on the State Government’s plan to reintroduce a levy on “unscrupulous operators” who have been using Queensland as a dumping ground for commercial waste.

‘The Palaszczuk government will move to reintroduce a waste levy amid mounting scrutiny of New South Wales companies dumping hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rubbish north of the border.

‘It’s understood Cabinet signed off on the move on Monday after a long-awaited report into the waste industry was delivered.

‘The levy would be a U-turn from Deputy Premier Jackie Trad’s previous comments that she had “no plans” to introduce any revenue measures beyond what was announced during the election campaign.

‘Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch refused to commit to reintroducing the charge when Fairfax Media last month revealed thousands of tonnes of NSW recycling was sent straight to landfill under current arrangements.

‘Industry sources said the lack of such a charge in Queensland, the only state without one, meant companies typically saved $3000 a truckload by avoiding NSW’s $138-per-tonne charge.

‘But Cabinet on Monday agreed to bring back the levy, which was $35 per tonne before it was dropped by Campbell Newman’s LNP government in 2012. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Local Government Association of Queensland would be consulted on the levy’s exact design.’

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