The Palaszczuk Government has today announced a strategy to stop Queensland from being the dumping ground for interstate waste.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has released the final report and recommendations following the investigation into the transfer of interstate waste into Queensland, led by Justice Peter Lyons QC.
The Palaszczuk Government is also releasing its response to the report, which was commissioned last year.
“Following the findings and recommendations from Justice Lyons’s report, my Government is developing a comprehensive waste and recycling strategy that will stem the tide of incoming interstate waste and set the direction for sustainable waste management in Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We will also establish a Stakeholder Advisory Group, with representatives from industry, to help develop Queensland’s waste management framework.
“While this strategy will be underpinned by a waste levy, I can assure Queenslanders that it will incorporate measures to avoid costs for households.
“I made the commitment that my Government would not increase taxes for Queensland households – and I stand by that.
“We need to ensure that big construction companies and unscrupulous operators in the waste industry will no longer take advantage of Queenslanders.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the results of public consultation and feedback from the Stakeholder Advisory Group would inform the specifics about the levy arrangements.
“We did have a levy in Queensland but in 2012 it was recklessly scrapped by the LNP, which made Queensland a cheap place to dump.
“That action also resulted in a number of lost economic opportunities for the local waste industry in terms of investment and employment.
“My Government is taking action and we will consult with Queensland as we finalise the design of our comprehensive waste strategy,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government’s strategy looked at longer term solutions, and the need to increase recycling.
“This strategy will set the direction for waste management in Queensland, and provide clarity and certainty for investment and business planning.
“This 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.
“The Queensland Government is fully committed to delivering a strategic, robust and effective resource recovery and waste management program.
“It is estimated that 2.8 jobs are supported for every 10,000 tonnes of waste that goes to landfill. But if that same waste was recycled, that would support 9.2 jobs,” Ms Enoch said.
“Queensland underperforms in waste recovery and we need to change that.
“Currently, Queensland produces approximately 5.5 million tonnes of waste that ends up in landfill. In 2016-17, nearly 1 million of that was interstate waste.”
Minister Enoch said that the introduction of a levy would create a price signal to the market to encourage increased recycling and attract new investment into the industry in Queensland.
A Queensland Treasury Corporation report into economic opportunities for Queensland’s waste industry; the Recycling and Waste in Queensland 2017 report; and a draft terms of reference for a Stakeholder Advisory Group will also be released today.
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch