Robbin’ Rob's payback for rate capping failure: SA-BEST

19 June 2019

The exorbitant waste levy hit on local councils is nothing more than payback for their strident opposition to the State Government’s failed rate capping proposal, SA-BEST said today.

SA-BEST MLC and Treasury and Budget spokesperson, Frank Pangallo, said the proposed 40% hike – announced yesterday as part of the State Budget – was Treasurer Rob Lucas’ “act of revenge” against local councils for rejecting the government’s rate capping reforms.

“The Marshall Government is treating local government – and ratepayers for that matter – with complete and utter contempt,” Frank said.

“The greedy waste levy hike of 40% is its pathetic attempt for retribution because the state’s local councils dare to stand up and reject the government’s rate cap policy,” he said.

“There is simply no justification for such an extravagant and over the top hike in the waste levy.

“The fund isn't depleted. It's bursting with money which is being spent on other government programs.

“The Treasurer is once again acting like a sore loser.

“We saw him act the same way when his shop deregulation reforms were rejected, and he ordered his ‘square metre police’ into action to measure the floorspace of supermarkets to see if they were breaching existing shopping laws.”

Frank said households and businesses will bear the brunt of a 40 per cent hike in the waste levy – from $100 a tonne currently to $140 a tonne – which is charged to local councils, but which SA-BEST fears will be on-passed to households and businesses via their council rates.

The increased waste levy impost would add $600,000 a year to Charles Sturt Council’s operating costs, from next year.

Other large metropolitan and regional councils will also be hit forcing them to pass on those increased costs to ratepayers.

“This unfair impost is deliberately intended to hit council operating costs hard because the Treasurer and Minister Knoll know that it will eventually have to be passed on to ratepayers who in turn will unfairly blame councils,” Frank said.

“What's worse is that the levy isn't being used for its intended purpose as the recycling crisis caused by the China sword bites,” he said.

“And to add insult to injury, councils will have to bear the brunt of other government cost-shifting measures still to come.”

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