Landfill Levy = Green Jobs

Environment Groups today welcomed the Brumby Government’s decision to increase the landfill levy and predicted that the improved pricing will make recycling competitive and lead to a green jobs bonanza.

Boomerang Alliance MEDIA RELEASE:

24 March, 2010

Environment Groups today welcomed the Brumby Government’s decision to increase the landfill levy and predicted that the improved pricing will make recycling competitive and lead to a green jobs bonanza.

The new levy will also offset commodity downturns experienced by recyclers since the global financial crisis and by providing forward projections until 2016 will give the entire sector (including local government), economic certainty. Another feature of the changes to the landfill levy is a commitment to invest almost $54million back into the sector, particularly $28million for new recycling infrastructure.

“The combined impact of increasing landfill levies and a $28million investment into new recycling infrastructure will create a massive boost for both the state’s economy and environment” said Boomerang Alliance’s National Campaign Director Dave West.

In April last year the Boomerang Alliance’s National Recycling Initiative (NRI) campaign with the Australian Council of Recycling and Waste Management Association of Australia identified 12 major Victorian recycling developments that had been stalled as a result of the global financial crisis. The developers committed to building these programs if governments increased levies and government provided infrastructure grants worth between 5-10% of the total development cost.

“Our research for the NRI indicates that the Brumby Governments decision will likely see at least 12 major recycling projects go ahead,” said West this will see the private sector invest some $585million - creating at least 1,290 new green jobs,” said West.

“On the environmental front, this package should increase the state’s recycling by at least 950,000 tonnes per annum taking Victoria’s overall recycling rate from just under 62% to over 71%, amongst the best in Australia,” concluded West.

Overall the package is a very good one and touches on most of the key themes to lift resource recovery and recycling in Victoria, said Boomerang Alliance member group, Total Environment Centre.  , “We note the $5.5million allocated to achieve best practice collection and management systems and call on the government to focus this on initiatives that would reduce the amount of residual waste from existing recycling (contaminated materials etc.),” said TEC Director, Jeff Angel.

“Nearly a third of Victoria’s total landfill actually comes out of the gates of recyclers, material that is too difficult to sort or too contaminated to re-use, so it’s very important that the government direct a significant proportion of their grants towards helping existing recyclers reduce their level of residual waste.”

“By focussing on residuals, the government can increase the amount of waste they divert but also help offset any cost impacts of the increased levy on existing recyclers,” Angel concluded.

Another BA member, Friends of the Earth were particularly pleased that the proposed changes had allocated over $11million to improving regulatory enforcement and cleaning up contaminated sites.

“It’s great to see greater enforcement and action to clean up our past mistakes. This will be a big step towards cracking down on illegal dumping and putting dodgy operators out of business,” said Cam Walker.

Interviews:
Dave West 0404 093 718
Jeff Angel: 02 9261 3437
Cam Walker 0419 338 047