Greg Fisher, of South Mackay, is concerned about the effect a waste levy will have on his small business.
Greg Fisher, of South Mackay, is concerned about the effect a waste levy will have on his small business. Stuart Quinn

Council staff member's $25,000 trip for waste tips

A MACKAY Regional Council staff member will be sent on a $25,000 international study tour to the United States and Europe to learn about waste.

The council on Wednesday voted to send Waste Services manager Jason Grandcourt, who has about 30 years experience in the field, on the two-week 'International Zero Waste Study Tour'.

It comes as the council prepares itself for the Local Government Association of Queensland conference in October, where it is expected a number of motions will be raised against the State Government-imposed waste levy.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the council is "very concerned" about how waste will be dealt with in years to come, due to the waste levy.

The State Government levy could result in Mackay residents paying more than $200 to dump a tonne of rubbish.

"We are faced with enormous problems with the way we deal with waste," he said.

"(We need to be) armed with more information to deliver what is going to be a very serious debate over the next couple of years.

"There is no doubt that if you read the way the law will be framed, that domestic waste might be protected but all of the waste that we (the council) generate is not, construction waste, and landfill type waste... the levy is another impost on ratepayers."

The proposed waste disposal levy, which will come into effect in 2019, will begin at $70 per tonne of general waste to landfill, and cost as much as $150 per tonne for regulated waste - on top of rates already imposed by local councils. The levy is expected to increase by $5 a year for four years for general waste.

The study tour has been organised by the LGAQ and the cost will be shared between Mackay Regional Council, Whitsunday Regional Council and Isaac Regional Council, through the Greater Whitsunday Council of Mayors budget.

Mr Grandcourt's trip is from August 24 to September 8.