Council braced for carbon tax bill
IPSWICH ratepayers will be forced to foot the bill after the council learned the carbon tax could cost it $2 million a year more to dump waste.
The council's waste contractor warned it to expect an increase of $22 a tonne to take household waste to landfill sites.
"This is a giant impact on our community and I need to get answers to it," Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said.
"The only people we've got to pass it on to is the community and they've already been hit by electricity and all the other rising costs.
"I'm getting our organisation to analyse the full impact because the community needs to know exactly what it is.
"It's not for me to judge the carbon tax.
"It's for me to analyse the full impact of the carbon tax on the city and the ratepayers and the rates."
About 65,000 tonnes of household waste is dumped each year and the council says the tax would cost it an extra $2 million a year, including associated costs.
With about 50,000 people paying rates in Ipswich, that would mean an added $40 on top of every Ipswich ratepayer's bill.
Federal MP Shayne Neumann argued councils would be compensated for the carbon tax to be introduced in July next year.
"The introduction of the carbon price will provide real incentives for recycling, composting, better capturing of methane emissions and generation of power from waste in landfills," Mr Neumann said. "And let's be clear, the government's comprehensive household assistance package includes the cost impacts on local councils which are expected to be passed on to ratepayers.
"Millions of households will be better off - even after any costs passed on to them - and the government's assistance is permanent and will increase in line with increases in the carbon price."
However, Councillor Trevor Nardi, responsible for the city's waste management, said council had not been told about compensation.
"I don't know how we would be compensated. Compensated to what extent?" Cr Nardi said
"It's a tax that is handed down and it can't be absorbed by the council. Ultimately the ratepayer is the one who is left with the bill.
"I've been told the carbon tax could cost us $2 million to $3 million per year just from wheelie bins. It's going to be an increase for all residents."
Ipswich West Greens candidate Ursula Monsiegneur dismissed the complaints as "a Labor Party-supported council using politics to justify extra costs."