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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    The Honourable Vicky Darling

    New waste reforms to cut Queensland’s landfill in half and boost green jobs

    The Honourable Vicky Darling

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    New waste reforms to cut Queensland’s landfill in half and boost green jobs

    Landmark new laws to slash major amounts of waste going into landfill have tonight been passed by the State Parliament.

    Environment Minister Vicky Darling said the Waste Reduction and Recycling Bill would halve the amount of rubbish directed to landfill within a decade, create thousands of greens jobs and see millions of dollars invested into recycling and resource recovery programs.

    “This new legislation is the most decisive step ever taken in Queensland to improve and modernise waste management,” Ms Darling said

    “For the first time, it allows us to take serious action to fix our growing landfill problem and address the urgent need to grow our recycling industries and technologies.

    “Until now Queensland has lagged behind the other states in its recycling effort and that has serious long-term environmental, social and economic implications.

    “The waste reform package introduces a landfill levy on non-recycled commercial waste that will fund a comprehensive set of support programs for business, local government and the community.

    “It is not a levy that will affect households – it is an Industry Waste Levy and it’s avoidable.

    “It will put an end to Queensland’s reputation as the country’s dumping ground – no longer will the southern states be able to cross our border to dump their waste in Queensland to avoid costs in their own states.

    “Unfortunately what we saw from the LNP today was a determined bid to keep us as a dumping ground.

    “What we saw from the LNP was a determined effort to maintain the status quo and simply sit by idly while millions of tonnes of rubbish continue to flood our environment every year.

    “Queensland generates about 32 million tonnes of waste every year – to do nothing about that, as the LNP would, is environmentally ignorant.”

    Ms Darling said the levy - which commences on 1 December 2011 - will discourage unnecessary disposal to landfill and fund an overhaul of waste management facilities, helping enterprises of all sizes tackle the cost of waste to their business.

    “Materials that are recovered, reused or recycled won’t attract the levy, saving businesses money and benefiting our environment.

    “The majority of funds raised from the levy will feed directly into the four year $159 million Waste Avoidance and Resource Efficiency fund to help companies avoid producing waste, sort their waste and recycle it.

    “Councils will also benefit from the $100 million Sustainable Futures Fund to help them better manage waste.”

    Ms Darling said the reforms would give local governments, business and industry certainty to make long-term investment decisions that would help grow regional employment, improve waste management and encourage resource recovery.

    “The Bill passed today encourages industry investment in resource recovery infrastructure and the development of sustainable markets for recovered materials and goods.

    “To help them become levy-ready, councils throughout Queensland will this year receive an $11 million boost for waste management facilities, following earlier assistance totalling $4.1 million to help establish or improve infrastructure such as weighbridges and fences at landfills.

    “Queensland is the only state to provide this type of assistance to councils.”

    Ms Darling said new programs will encourage recycling of organic waste while a renewed litter prevention program will commence to catch and prosecute illegal dumpers who are damaging our environment and taking work from legitimate waste carriers.

    She said the reforms had been in development for more than two years and had benefited from strong consultation with industry and local government.

    Further information on the waste reform package is available on the Department of Environment and Resource Management website at

    Media Contact: 3239 0824