Consultation on the draft Waste Action Plan 2019 showed that there is strong support for improving strategic governance arrangements and for introducing a waste levy in Tasmania.
All other Australian states have a legislated waste levy, which requires a landfill operator to pay the levy per tonne of waste disposed of at the landfill. The operator then passes on the cost of the levy to their customers. This has proven a successful way to promote the diversion of waste from landfill. It acts as a price signal so reducing, reusing, and recycling waste and other resource recovery activities become more economical as well as better for the environment.
The money raised from the levy can then be invested back into waste management, and the Government intends to do so by creating the Tasmanian Waste and Resource Recovery Board (the Board) to manage the levy funds to promote better waste management in this state. Other costs associated with the levy system will also be funded from the levy.
The levy will be collected by EPA Tasmania who will be responsible for regulating the levy and ensuring compliance with the legislation.
The impact of introducing a levy has been analysed through a detailed Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) by consultants Urban EP. The link to this analysis is available below.
The waste levy rate will be a flat rate applicable statewide and across all waste streams. The intention is to achieve the average of regional waste levy rates across Australia (currently approximately $60 per tonne). Jumping straight to this amount could come as a price shock to businesses still recovering from the economic constriction caused by COVID-19, so the waste levy will be introduced in a staged manner.
Initially the levy rate will start at $20 per tonne of material received at landfill. It will increase to $40 per tonne after two years, and $60 per tonne after a further two years.
This staged implementation has a positive Net Present Value and generates a range of benefits for the Tasmanian community. It would effectively contribute to achieving the resource recovery targets in the Waste Action Plan while only having a modest cost impact on businesses and households. The staged increase allows time for businesses and local government to plan for the changes and provide certainty for businesses to invest in waste reduction and resource recovery activities.
The Government will provide support for local government and landfill operators to prepare for the introduction of the waste levy.
A draft of the Waste and Resource Recovery Bill 2021 (the Bill) was released for public consultation between 9 February 2021 and 12 March 2021. The Bill is intended to enact the waste levy, impose regulatory and compliance requirements, and establish the Board. Links to the Bill and other supporting materials about how the Bill will operate are provided below.
Supporting material available:
Draft Waste and Resource Recovery Bill 2021 (pdf, 908Kb)
Draft Waste and Resource Recovery Bill - Explanatory Paper (pdf, 446Kb)
Tasmanian waste levy impact study - Urban EP report (pdf, 3Mb)
Public comment was invited on the draft Bill and submissions closed on 12 March 2021.
Submissions received are available to view - Public Submissions: Draft Waste and Resource Recovery Bill 2021.
Since the consultation period concluded, the feedback on the draft Bill has been carefully considered. As a result, it is intended to commence the levy component of the new system in July 2022, rather than November 2021 as initially proposed.