Queensland joins ranks of jurisdictions providing financial relief during COVID-19

1 June 2020

The Queensland government has announced it will defer the 1 July 2020 waste levy increase for six months due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses operating within our essential industry, a move welcomed by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR).

The six-month deferment will see the waste levy remain at $75 per tonne for general waste, and $105 and $125 per tonne for regulated wastes till 31 December 2020, providing much-needed relief for businesses dealing with the financial impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“WMRR appreciates the Queensland government’s proactivity in deferring the levy increase and the Department of Environment and Science is to be commended for listening to, and considering, the very real concerns of the industry,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.

“As industry continues to face financial and operational challenges related to the pandemic, WMRR is encouraged to see jurisdictions taking a commonsense approach towards costs and regulatory pressures placed on our essential industry. In deferring the levy increase, operators and their customers may have some financial respite while continuing to focus on the job at hand, which is keeping our services operating while ensuring the safety of our staff and community.”

Queensland joins the ranks of NSW and Victoria; both states being first movers in providing some form of levy relief, the former by way of deferring waste levy payments for the foreseeable future and the latter deferring its 1 July 2020 levy increase to 1 January 2021. WA’s waste levy has also been frozen for the 2020-21 year.

“WMRR completely supports the waste levy and in all engagements with state governments, has recommended that only the first proposed levy increment in 2020 be deferred to provide relief to operators and their customers facing financial challenges; all later increments should continue as planned in order to safeguard ongoing investments that will build our industry, in turn providing Australia with the necessary infrastructure capacity to process our materials and local jobs,” Ms Sloan said.

“It is WMRR’s hope that SA will not continue to turn a blind eye to industry’s concerns and will follow in its neighbours’ footsteps by offering levy relief to operators, particularly as its shock levy increase announcement in 2019 - a 40% increase that was implemented with no industry consultation whatsoever - continues to place significant strain on existing projects and operations. Now is the time to ease these financial pressures on operators so that we can maintain a viable industry and importantly, assist in the rebuilding of a post-COVID economy.”