Waste Levy Increase
Council will soon be required to pay the State Government levies for waste disposal activities.
The proposed rates are $70 per tonne for municipal solid, commercial, industrial and construction waste and $150 per tonne for Regulated Waste Category 1 and $100 per tonne for Regulated Waste Category 2. The proposal will include a reimbursement to Council for costs associated with household municipal waste (red top bins), but the finer details are yet to be advised. For further information please refer to www.qld.gov.au/wastedisposallevy.
We just can’t seem to get a break from these rising costs. Obviously Council’s predominate source of income is through property rating and costs of this nature imposed by the State Government impact on rates.
Speaking of rising waste disposal costs the annual cost to Council for the collection and disposal of yellow bin recycling activities has increased by $18,000 per annum.
This increase is a direct result of China’s ‘Operation Green Fence Policy’ whereby China (the main purchaser of recyclable material) now enforces a practice of not accepting recyclable waste where contamination at a rate higher than 1% of volume is found.
Material recycling facilities to which Council’s recyclable waste is referred has had to increase sorting activities to meet the new threshold, resulting in higher costs and such costs being passed on to clients.
We are not really certain as to where this whole recycling issue is going to go in the future, but we as a community can help by ensuring that what we put in our yellow bins is purely acceptable recycling product only.
If you are in doubt as to what is and is not recycling acceptable – refer to Council’s website at www.hinchinbrook.qld.gov.au/water-waste-and-roads/waste-and-recycling.
Just for the record, the contamination rate from Council’s current yellow bin service is running at 35% in presented bins.
New Rain Gauge Stations Installed
Four new rain gauge stations have been installed in the Herbert River Catchment Area to assist with better rainfall impact / flood modelling practices downstream. The gauges were installed at Extended Range, Upper Poison Creek, Wooroora and Native Wells, being areas identified by Council and the Bureau of Meteorology as black spots for reporting purposes.
Data from the gauges is now available to the Hinchinbrook Local Disaster Management Group via the Environmon website and will be used during disaster or emergency events.
Acquisition and installation of the rain gauges was jointly funded by Hinchinbrook Shire Council and the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs, under the 2017-2019 Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program.
Kidston Connection Project
Council recently met with Powerlink representatives, the Company contracted to deliver the Kidston Connection Project once approved by the Queensland Government.
The Kidston Connection Project entails connection of the Genex Kidston Renewable Energy Hub at Kidston to the national electricity grid via a 275kv transmission line, around 195km in length with new substations at Kidston and Mt Fox also to be constructed.
Council advocated for local contractor / employee opportunities to be mandated given the project is essentially in our backyard. Opportunities envisaged for local businesses include accommodation providers, fuel suppliers, vegetation clearing and earth moving contractors, water supply and labour.
Construction period of 18 months commencing July 2019 is anticipated. Powerlink has agreed to host a business opportunity forum in Ingham in the near future once final approvals are in place. Watch this space.
Cr Ramon Jayo