Queensland govt working with councils on waste

The Queensland Government has announced that it will work with councils and industry on a zero-waste future.

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the time to act was now, given the unprecedented decision of the Ipswich City Council to start dumping recycling in landfill.  

“We will be bringing forward the waste levy, incentivising the recycling industry to scale up and encouraging waste-to-energy enterprises to set up in Queensland,” Ms Trad said.

“We know that the waste levy that was introduced in 2011, had it not been repealed, would have stopped a number of these significant problems, including the 900,000 tonnes of interstate waste that is being dumped here in Queensland.

“We’re working with stakeholders to get back on track and get this strategy moving now.”

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said that changes to imports by China had impacted on local councils.

“The Palaszczuk Government supports initiatives on recycling and waste recovery, and is committed to exploring more innovative ways to use waste,” Ms Enoch said.

“That’s why we are currently designing a comprehensive waste management strategy, alongside the waste levy, to encourage investment and innovation in the industry.

“Our strategy will allow us to build a diverse and sustainable waste management industry that delivers long-term value to our environment, new jobs for our communities and confidence to invest in Queensland.”

Local Government Association of Queensland, Chief Executive Officer, Greg Hallam, AM welcomed the State Government’s commitment to zero waste.

“Local councils across Queensland are hurting, and we will work quickly and collaboratively with the Government to ensure the best possible strategies are put in place,” he said.

“A waste-to-energy strategy, adopting world class technology, will make Queensland a global leader in recycling.

“This move will benefit not only our children, and our children’s children, but also generations to come.

“Queensland councils now have a clear signal that they can stockpile waste for the short to medium term. This waste can then be used to feed environmentally sustainable plants when they are built, which will greatly reduce landfill.

“Our hope is to eventually close landfill sites across the state altogether.”