Victorians Confused by Carbon Costs

Victorian councils are demanding greater clarity about how to price landfill waste under the carbon tax.

Five weeks from the scheme’s introduction, councils say they are waiting for guidance from the Federal Government about setting a price for waste.

The price will factor in carbon emissions over the next 40 years and will affect how much households pay for kerbside rubbish collection.

“I don’t think any other sector has been asked to gaze into the crystal ball and try and set prices from July 1 that take into account 40 years of carbon emissions liability,” Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) president Bill McArthur said.

Mr McArthur said the Victorian councils of Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Wyndam and Latrobe that run landfills would be liable to pay the carbon tax, which comes into effect when emissions top 25,000 tonnes a year.

Another six councils were set to exceed that threshold within the next decade, Mr McArthur said.

He said the cost to ratepayers had yet to be determined and councils were struggling to set a price on waste due to the complex nature of the carbon pricing system.

Mr Macarthur said councils would have little control over price increases set by private landfill operators and these additional costs would ultimately be passed on to ratepayers.

The government has said the cost to ratepayers was expected to rise by 13 cents a week, to be offset by assistance of an average $10.10 a week.

Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus has written to every Australian council about their carbon tax liabilities, providing them with a landfill fact sheet.

Information sessions have also been held by his department and the Australian Local Government Association.

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