Builder s anger at landfill rise
Builder's anger at landfill rise

The State Government is facing a revolt over increases to the landfill levy, with one of WA's biggest builders arguing it will add up to $1500 to the cost of an average new home.

Dale Alcock lashed out at plans to increase the levy 400 per cent from next year as landfill operators banded together against the change amid claims it would push many to the wall.

As part of last month's State Budget, the Government said it would increase the landfill levy for household waste from $28 a tonne to $55 from January 1, and to $70 by July 2018.

The changes will make the cost of dumping inert waste rise faster - from $8 a tonne to $40 from January before also reaching $70 within four years.

Mr Alcock said the increase planned for inert material would inevitably flow through to new homebuyers because the building and construction industry was one of the biggest generators of such waste.

"It's probably in the order of a $1000 to $1500 a home hit if we were to look at the bulk landfill we would create," Mr Alcock said.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob has noted that even after the increases WA would still have one of the lower landfill levy rates in the country.

He has also defended the decision to do it, pointing out the State has one of the worst recycling rates in Australia and making it more expensive to dump waste was vital to reversing this.

Mr Jacob said the Government was focused on using the extra cash the increases would generate to fund recycling initiatives including plans to harmonise Perth's bin system.

Although he agreed WA's recycling rates needed to lift, Mr Alcock said the Government's handling of the changes had been clumsy and there were "smarter" ways to reduce landfill.

"It purely is a revenue grab," he said. "You can argue this is about changing industry and industry has to get on board and put less waste to landfill.

"Maybe try working with industry rather than just whacking it over the head."

The changes to the landfill levy are forecast to generate $202 million in the next four years. A quarter of this will go to the Waste Authority to help fund recycling programs, with the rest directed to consolidated revenue.

The West Australian

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