Dump tax to hit home builders and buyers hard
NEW home owners would foot the bill for thousands of dollars in extra dump fees if the Palaszczuk Government's proposed waste levy was introduced, builders have warned.
Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander was in Bundaberg yesterday and accused the State Government of planning to introduce a state-wide tax to deal with a "south-east corner" issue.
In 2012, the LNP axed a waste levy in Queensland but the Palaszczuk Government is now considering reintroducing it to stop NSW dumpers trucking rubbish across the border after it emerged southern companies were avoiding NSW levies by heading north.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch slammed the LNP for "recklessly scrapping" the levy, robbing Queensland of the opportunity to invest in the recycling industry, create new jobs, and making Queensland a cheap place to dump waste.
"Since the LNP scrapped the waste levy, more than 2.3 million tonnes of waste had come into Queensland from other states," she said.
But Mr Mander labelled the levy as "unnecessary" and said the Property Council of Australia estimated the waste tax and other taxes announced by the State Government would add at least $3000 to the cost of a new home.
Stroud Homes Bundaberg directors Slade and Aletha Walters said the business couldn't afford to absorb the extra costs, and people building new houses would have to pay.
"It's already costing us $3000 to $4000 per home to dump rubbish from each site," Mrs Walters said.
"So if we're adding an extra $2000 to $3000 ... this is going to start having a devastating impact on the industry.
"Unfortunately $2000 to $3000 per home across 50 homes we're estimating we're going to build this year is not some we're able to afford."
Mr Mander labelled the levy as a "tax grab" and said the issue should be dealt with locally.
"All of Queensland will be paying for it," he said.
"So whether you are buying a new set of car tyres, whether you get in a skip bin or going to a fish and chip shop or ... if you're buying a new house, there will be extra costs flowing on to consumers.
"We don't believe the people of Bundaberg and the Wide Bay should pay for a problem that's simply in the south-east corner of Queensland."
But Ms Enoch was adamant the levy would not impact households.
"Last year the Palaszczuk Government commissioned the independent investigation into interstate waste, following concerning revelations about waste being transported into Queensland," she said.
"Our government made a commitment that we would consider the report and act on its recommendations, and that is what we are doing.
"The Palaszczuk Government has made a commitment that Queensland households will not be directly affected by a waste levy.
"Last month the waste Stakeholder Advisory Group held its first meeting to start working through the development of a waste strategy, including ensuring there are mechanisms in place to avoid costs for Queensland households."