No relief from waste levy slug
Ratepayers will continue to be slugged with a levy on their rates notices while the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River reviews its financial modelling.
During workshops in 2018, a Shire consultant recommended downscaling the levy to avoid a backlash from residents.
The Shire, with other local government partners, continues investigating long-term waste options for the region’s landfill, which Shire president Ian Earl has warned for years would come at a considerable cost.
But those efforts, dating back to before 2015, are yet to yield a tangible solution.
However, the Shire has continued with its own local waste-reduction and management efforts, including the final stages of the Davis Road tip site in Witchcliffe, and introduction of its three-bin system.
The contentious waste levy was cut from $200 to $180 for the 2019-20 rates period, with further reductions forecast. Shire sustainable development and infrastructure director Nick Logan said the latest budget review forecast the waste management reserve contained just shy of $6 million.
He said the existing levy was “required to replenish the reserve to provide for future works including conversion of the landfill site to a transfer station facility and the post-closure capping of the landfill cells”.
“The financial model to service these projects is currently being reviewed, which will determine the intended timeframe for phasing out this rate,” Mr Logan said.
“The waste facility maintenance rate is likely to remain in place for 2021-22.”
Any further plans would be determined once councillors adopted this year’s budget.
The waste reserve was valued at $10.3m in June 2019, with $2m drawn out as part of emergency measures 12 months ago, once COVID-19 struck.
A further sum, approximately $2 million, had already gone to works and equipment at the Davis Road site, Mr Logan said.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails