Hypocritical State Government Deals Savage Blow to Local Government

Our hypocritical State Government has dealt Local Government a Savage  Blow. They have done this by raising the waste levy by 40%. Compounding this, they do it in the week Councils are due to bring down their budgets.

Green Bin (weekly)

Green bin every week, not the blue

Yes! The same hypocritical State Government who claims we (local government) are incapable of keeping council rates at an affordable level. The levy, which is paid on all dumping to land fill, has been lifted in the State budget from $ 100.00 per ton to $ 140.00 per ton. An increase of 40%.

Wait a minute, CPI for the year sits at 2.9%. This means the waste levy impost is 13 times inflation. And they tell us our rates should be capped because we are irresponsible financial mangers.

The timing could not be worse. Local Governments this week are due to confirm their annual business plans and budgets this week for the upcoming year.


The treasurer, unashamedly he advised at the SA Press Club luncheon today, says this will encourage Councils to be more efficient in waste reduction.

An incentive to get rubbish away from landfill. But will he be using this money to assist us. No. He will be using it to solve sand drift problems at West Beach and Henley Beach. A non waster levy issue to say the least.

There is little we can do to reduce landfill when the blue bin continues to be the bin that is picked up weekly. Until they legislate for the green bin to be picked up weekly and the blue bin fortnightly the amount going to landfill will not reduce.


We are now forced to conduct a last minute review of our business plan and our budget.

We now need to work out what the impact of this increase will have on us. A last minute rush to ensure it does not cause us budget grief. Once we know the impact, we will then be faced with making a decision to do one of three things:

  • Do nothing. This may be appropriate if the cost increase is not too large.
  • Reduce operating costs by an amount similar to the increase. This will mean reconsidering our priorities. This could mean significantly reducing the scope of a project or even eliminating one or more projects we were committing ourselves to.
  • Increase rates at the last minute to recover the extra.

Please keep us in your thoughts as we deal with this conundrum.


  1. Ann Davidson   •  

    Sorry it yet again is a blame game,we all need to work within our budget! That means all of us!

    • Don Palmer   •     Author

      I hope you don’t think I (we) am not willing for us to work within our budget. We are. And we believe we are responsible when setting our budget.

      My concerns are Ann that they should push that we are not capable financial managers but await us setting our budget before throwing something extra that we should have had the opportunity to budget for. Is that fair. I think not.

  2. Cathy Chua   •  

    Re: “There is little we can do to reduce landfill when the blue bin continues to be the bin that is picked up weekly. Until they legislate for the green bin to be picked up weekly and the blue bin fortnightly the amount going to landfill will not reduce.”

    I don’t understand this. Surely it’s to do with how much is in the bin, not how often it is picked up. We habitually put our blue bin out every week, but it has very little in it.

    That said, I’d much rather organics were every week rather than hard rubbish.

    • Don Palmer   •     Author

      As always, appreciate your input Cathy.

      Be assured, it is based on the tonnage. And the Govt is looking to up the cost from $ 100 per tonne to $140.00 per tonne.

      The concern is if we keep putting the blue bin out each week we are likley to put items in that bin based on smell, ants etc that will by default increase the weight going into that bin because we want to get rid of it not hold onto it.

      That said, if there are no smelly or ant attracting rubbish in the bins there is no need to put them out, until full.

      • Cathy   •  

        Don, isn’t the opposite just as likely? In a world where we all did the right thing, decreased blue bin collections is a good thing. But if they are decreased, won’t it increase the likelihood of people putting blue bin rubbish in the organic or recycling bins, thus contaminating them?

        I’m pretty sure that in parts of Switzerland it’s an issue: you pay more for blue bin collection to discourage hard waste, but then people put it in the wrong place. And they have inspectors dishing out fines that can be very unreasonable on top of it.

        It all seems so messy and hard to achieve the right result. Maybe when China’s totally taken over Australia and we all live under total surveillance, socially controlled….

        • Don Palmer   •     Author

          As always Cathy. Very astute.

          Not sure what I can say in return.

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