Jo Leslie

'Wheelie bin tax will hit you'

RATEPAYERS have been warned they face a minimum $40 'wheelie bin surcharge' as a result of the incoming carbon tax.

Councillor David Pahlke has hit out at the carbon tax, saying it is deeply unpopular with residents and will cost the Ipswich City Council millions.

The Federal Government's carbon tax will be introduced on July 1, and the city council has confirmed it will result in significant increases in costs relating to waste disposal, electricity and the purchase of carbon-intensive products such as asphalt and concrete.

Cr Pahlke said the cost associated with taking rubbish to a landfill would grate most with residents.

"This carbon tax is going to cost council $5 million to $8 million a year," he said.

"The Federal Government is putting a tax on wheelie bins because the rubbish is going to landfill.

"The bill is $4.5 million just for the wheelie bins. That means it will cost you an extra $40 a year for your wheelie bins just to pay for this tax.

"We'll be basically writing a cheque out to Julie Gillard and we'll be the ones getting criticised for putting the rates up.

"This is just a tax grab by the Federal Government. There are far smarter things that we can do to help the environment, and the working people that I talk to on the streets are totally opposed to it."

A preliminary council report prepared this year found the carbon tax would result in increased costs of about $5 million in the next financial year.

"With regard to domestic waste disposal, increases in the vicinity of $27 to $30 for kerbside collection and $5 per trip for transfer station fees are likely to be required to offset the additional costs," the report said.

"For other good and services, a CPI impact of 1% is expected."

A council spokesperson told The Queensland Times "the exact make-up of the Federal Government's carbon tax is not yet known, and council is the process of preparing an update" to the original report.

Cr Pahlke said he had discussed the issues with Blair MP Shayne Neumann and warned that he risked losing his seat over the carbon tax.

But Mr Neumann said Cr Pahlke was "scaremongering", had got his figures wrong and was overlooking the compensation the government would provide council.

"I have already addressed this issue with David Pahlke and made it crystal clear that Ipswich City Council will get increased financial assistance grants in accordance with CPI increases," Mr Neumann said.

"In addition there is low carbon community funding and other types of funding. Council will have access to carbon farming initiatives which will enable them to get credits. Those credits are highly likely to exceed any cost that they will incur.

"This is just David Pahlke being politically mischievous and disingenuous. He'd be best concentrating on his own re-election rather than fighting a federal campaign.

"The financial assistance grants given to the Ipswich council are in the millions and they will go up significantly.

"This government has given the council more than any other previous federal government and that commitment remains undiminished.

"If the Ipswich council makes the decision to raise rates in relation to wheelie bins, that is nothing to do with the federal government."

A spokesman for Ipswich City Council said it had yet to receive any detailed information regarding funding increases to offset the impact of the carbon tax.

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