Victorian govt surplus propped up by landfill levy, claims ACOR

Monday, 08 May, 2017

The Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) has stated its disappointment after learning that a large percentage of the Victorian Government’s surplus for 2016–17 will come from the state’s landfill levy, claiming that the move will simply prop up the state budget with no opportunity for reinvestment back into the resource recovery industry.

According to the State Budget Report 2016–17, there is a surplus of $2.9 billion, approximately 20% of which comes from the Sustainability Fund or the monies collected from Victoria’s landfill levy. ACOR CEO Grant Musgrove said this surplus is being “underpinned by levies from landfills which have not been returned to recycling initiatives and industry”.

“The waste and recycling sector is being taxed to prop up the state budget and not enough money is being invested in improving the waste and resource recovery industry in Victoria,” said Musgrove.

“It’s a national disgrace, with only $20 million earmarked to be returned to industry and local government over the next four years, compared to hundreds of millions of dollars in other states.”

ACOR estimates that the Sustainability Fund will have approximately $500 million sitting idle by the end of this financial year.

“The community supports recycling, yet the government is taxing unavoidable residues from recycling,” Musgrove said, arguing that the Sustainability Fund should be confined to resource recovery and recycling initiatives.

“Victoria’s resource recovery, recycling and remanufacturing industry should not be effectively axed to fund climate change initiatives, public servant salaries, government agencies or pork barrelling,” he said.

“Any initiatives in this regard should come from consolidated revenue or other government streams.”

ACOR’s report on the levy can be found here.

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