Media Releases | 14th Jul, 2006

Environment Victoria welcomes hazardous waste levy increase

Friday, 14 July 2006

Environment Victoria has welcomed the State Government’s four-fold increase in levies charged on category B hazardous industrial waste.

Environment Victoria believes the rise from $30 to $130 a tonne will give industry the price incentive necessary to drive the change to less toxic production processes.

Environment Victoria’s Zero Waste Campaign Director, Jenny Henty, said this increase is small compared to what industry will be facing in the future with community demand for state-of-the-art technology to replace holes in the ground for harmful chemicals.

“It is time that industry accepted responsibility for the long term legacy of the waste it produces.” Ms Henty said.

“We welcome the government’s announcement. Regulation provides the impetus for industry to reduce such wastes, so toxic dumps in fragile environmentally-sensitive areas such as Nowingi, near Mildura, are not built. Environment Victoria is completely opposed to a containment facility being built on such a site.

“A new toxic waste containment facility is a short-term measure. In the long-term we must reduce the amount of waste we produce. Let’s ensure the next facility is Victoria’s last.”

“The Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry has to accept that education and voluntary schemes have failed to provide the necessary reductions in hazardous waste. Existing levies have also been insufficient to drive change. Current waste disposal costs represent a very small proportion (0.1% – 2.2%) of total manufacturing costs.

“The government should now look at increasing levies on other categories of commercial waste ,” Ms Henty said.

“The labelling of this levy increase as a “tax grab” is wrong. The funds raised will be returned to industry for investment in green technology. If industry makes the necessary changes it will not incur waste levies.”