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.
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.