New levy to hit pockets

WARWICK residents will be hit hard when the new waste levy kicks in next week, owner of Darling Downs Heavy Towing and Salvage Pat Devine has said.

Mr Devine said he wanted to get the word out there for people because when the levy started, disposal companies would have to pass on the cost to consumers.

"Our jobs are going up by about 62% and that's just passing on that charge," he said.

"You will get a reaction from people saying we are ripping into them but by putting it up by 62% we are just covering the costs."

Mr Devine said while he understood council wasn't responsible for the levy and the State Government was, he felt there wasn't enough information out there.

"The only information we've been given is a brochure we were handed at the dump itself," he said.

Mr Devine said with little information, it was difficult to advise his clients of exactly what was happening.

"We haven't even been told whether that is including GST," he said.

"We have customers whose bills could go up thousands of dollars."

Councillors expressed similar frustration about the levy at Wednesday's meeting.

Mayor Ron Bellingham said they would never recover the costs for officer time spent on administration to implement the policy.

"The conception and implementation (by State Government) of this particular levy has left a huge amount to be desired as far as I am concerned," he said.

"It has been somewhat less than professional, there are decisions being made on a day-by-day basis, we are being told one thing and tomorrow we will be told the exact opposite."

Cr Bellingham said he and council officers were told last week agricultural waste was exempt from the levy but this week they found out it wasn't.

Other organisations including churches were also thought to have dodged the fees but must apply to the Department of Environment and Resource Management for an exemption to avoid the extra charge.

Council's acting CEO Ken Harris said he expected staff workload to increase for administration tasks related to the levy.

There will be no levy for recycling but other waste will attract a fee of $35 per tonne.

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