Qld ratepayers may wear trash tax: Trad

Sonia Kohlbacher

Queensland home owners may end up paying the trash tax the state government is reintroducing to help pay down the state's ballooning debt.

In her first budget on Tuesday, Treasurer Jackie Trad announced that councils would be compensated in advance to cover the costs of disposing of rubbish and recycling, to spare ratepayers being slugged the charges.

But she admitted there are no safeguards in place to stop councils from double-dipping.

"If they do, they will be judged harshly," Ms Trad told reporters on Wednesday.

"I can't guarantee the actions of every single council in Queensland."

The $70-per-tonne charge will apply from New Year's Day and is expected to raise $1.3 billion over four years.

The Liberal National Party opposition singled out the waste levy in Question Time in state parliament on Wednesday, with Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington accusing the government of shifting its reason for introducing the tax.

"When Labor first announced this tax they said it was to stop interstate dumping; then they said it was needed because the Chinese stopped recycling imports; then last sitting week Labor said it was to create a recycling, circular economy," Ms Frecklington told parliament on Wednesday.

"Does the premier agree yesterday Queenslanders found out the truth of this $1.3 billion tax grab?"

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk defended the new levy, pointing out it relaced a tax scrapped under the Newman LNP government in 2012 - to discourage interstate businesses crossing into Queensland to dump their rubbish and avoid fees in other states.

Budget papers show 70 per cent of revenue raised will fund council rebates, pay for the running of the program and support new rubbish disposal programs during that time.

Ms Trad denied she was price-gouging by allocating the remaining funds to government spending outside of the waste and environmental space.

"How are we over charging?" she asked.

"I think it's entirely responsible and reasonable that a small portion of the money that we raise goes into the work that government does each and every day."

The government will open a $100 million fund to get Queensland's waste and recycling sector up and running, with an additional $32 million in advance subsidies to councils in the 2018/19 financial year to get the ball rolling.