Decades of work educating the community about the benefits of recycling is at risk of being lost if the state government doesn’t act to solve the current recycling crisis gripping local governments.
Mrs Britnell has received briefings from South West Coast councils and key waste management stakeholders and said it was vital the state government use the revenue collected in municipal and industrial waste levies to sort out this crisis.
“For decades we have been educating the community about the benefits of recycling –we don’t want to start sending product to landfill. That work could be undone within a matter of weeks,” she said.
“The government has been collecting waste management levies from local government for years – some of the revenue raised is distributed through the budget process with the remainder diverted to the Sustainability Fund.
“The budget papers reveal some of the municipal and industrial landfill levy was used for an upgrade of the Parks Victoria’s website, overhauling governance of the Environment Protection Authority and to purchase land to establish three new metropolitan parks. The Sustainability Fund supported several projects including solar powered trams and a timber plantation in the Latrobe Valley.”
Mrs Britnell said the government’s own independent inquiry into the Environmental Protection Agency found the levies were failing in their primary regulatory objective of reducing disposal to landfill.
“The government has been happy to send responsibility for waste management overseas and have failed to identify the risk or take moves to mitigate it,” Mrs Britnell said.
“This is a problem the state government must fix as a matter of priority, using money already collected in levies and not increasing the cost of living burden on households.”