ALOA is seeking feedback from all members on our proposed Landfill Community fund (LCF).
In particular we see your views on how a LCF should be funded – completely from the landfill levy or with a $ for $ co-contribution from the landfill operator?
ALOA’s advocacy for each State to introduce a LCF is inspired by the UK scheme of the same name which was established in 1996, side by side with the landfill tax , allowing landfills to quarantine a small percentage of their landfill tax liability to fund community environmental, heritage or social projects in their vicinity via approved Environmental Bodies. The UK scheme has been extremely successful and has transformed the relationship between landfills and their host communities, representing a win-win for the landfill and the community. More information can be found on the ENTRUST website. ENTRUST was appointed as the regulator of the British LCF scheme here
Action so far
- In February 2021, ALOA wrote to the Environment Ministers of each State recommending that they introduce a LCF component to their own landfill levy schemes. See the letters we sent here
- On 8 April 2021 Richard Taylor, ALOA Director met with the Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon and her team to discuss a Queensland LCF.
- It was a robust discussion around whether “government money” (levy money) should be used to procure social licence to operate for a landfill facility.
- Member feedback suggests that it is unrealistic for the landfill operator to wear sole responsibility for the impacts (whether real or perceived) of a landfill site. Both State Environment agencies and the Council have invariably played a role in approving and regulating the facility. In this respect I think it is highly appropriate to fund an LCF with a proportion of the landfill levy.
- The Minister asked what the ALOA membership would think of a co-contributary scheme where the landfill matches $ for $ the contribution from the levy. This means if a LCF funded project came in at $100K it would be $50K from the levy and require $50K from the Landfill itself.
Should we have a co-contributory LCF fund?
It is ALOA’s view that the co-contributory LCF may be not be our preferred model for the following reasons:
- The UK model works – why reinvent the wheel?
- The levy funded model virtually guarantees participation by all landfills in the levy zone.
- The Landfill operator component for a co-contributary scheme still has to be raised from waste disposal fees, but in a co-contributary scheme it is now discretionary and therefore subject to competitive or financial pressure. As a discretionary cost, there is the chance that the landfill contribution will be cut, therefore cancelling the levy component and the site withdrawing from the LCF. This means that not all communities will get the opportunity to participate in funding from a levy that they indirectly pay, but get no benefit from
- It disadvantages smaller operators who might not be able to afford the co-contribution element
- Many Landfills are owned by Local authorities and funded by the ratepayer. Notwithstanding current rebates to offset the levy for domestic ratepayers, it doesn’t seem right to charge ratepayers an extra amount on top of the levy for the co-contribution, in order to get a bit back for the community through an LCF.
- Many landfill operators already contribute to their host community, through donations and sponsorships of causes like charities, sporting clubs, and schools. This would continue under a levy funded LCF, but would be competing for scarce funds in a co-contributory scheme.
Please let us know your views, no matter what state you are in
Email your views to ALOA.
In your email please let us know:
- your view on the issue
- your state and landfill sites
- whether you wish to remain anonymous when we present our collective views to the various state governments.