VIC landfill levy increase pivotal to recovery

24 November 2020

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) welcomed today’s Budget announcement that the Victorian government will move ahead with its planned landfill levy increase in July 2021.

“WMRR supported the Victorian government’s decision to not progress the January 2021 increase due to COVID impacts, but it is now time to get back on track. If we do not, then planned future resource recovery infrastructure and new Victorian jobs will be in jeopardy,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.

As it stands, Victoria, particularly in the regional parts of the state, has one of the lowest levy-paying areas in Australia, effectively opening its doors to unnecessary interstate waste transportation. An increase of the landfill levy will not only bring it up to par with its neighbouring jurisdictions, it will go a long way in removing the current economic barrier to investing in resource recovery activities, meaning more Victorian jobs.

“With the current levy rate being one of the lowest in Australia, Victoria is at risk of becoming the country’s dumping ground – this is not an outcome anyone wants. Moreover, we know that industry, governments, and the community want to move towards a more resource efficient society, one that increasingly closes the loop. A low levy hinders that as it would still be cheaper to landfill than recycle, remanufacture, or reprocess,” Ms Sloan said.

“We’ve heard the statistics time and again – 9.2 jobs are created for every 10,000 tonnes of waste recycled compared to 2.8 jobs for the same volume sent to landfill. Increasing the landfill levy as planned sends the right price signal to drive recycling. Importantly, it will encourage greater investment and innovation in resource recovery and recycling, which in turn will further boost growth of local businesses and jobs that are necessary when we know that some 290,000 jobs have been lost because of the pandemic.

WMRR also welcomed the announcement that the Victorian government will be providing $40.9 million to boost regional recycling infrastructure. The four-year investment seeks to establish a network of recycling facilities and improve the state’s recycling and transfer station network.

“The Victorian government is spending significantly to stimulate economic recovery and it has said that the Budget is all about jobs, investment and ensuring we have momentum to take us through 2021; together with the funding for recycling infrastructure, the landfill levy increase can play a key role in meeting these objectives and the industry supports the government’s plan to increase the levy to aid in the state’s efforts to repair and rebuild the economy and communities” Ms Sloan said.