Today is Clean up Australia Day and Shadow Minister for the Environment David Speirs is using this opportunity to urge the Weatherill Government to stop using the waste levy to prop up their budget’s bottom line.
“South Australia is known nationally for its innovation in waste management, being a pioneer in container deposit legislation and banning single use plastic bags,” said Shadow Minister for the Environment David Speirs.
“Unfortunately this great tradition is being undermined by the fact the Weatherill Government is sitting on $80 million collected through the waste levy.
“Had funds collected through the waste levy been invested in waste management programs there would be less rubbish for KESAB volunteers to deal with today.
“As KESAB CEO John Phillips outlines in the organisation’s most recent annual report, South Australia is at risk of falling behind because our waste levy is not being proportionally invested into local government and the waste sector.
“Instead the Weatherill Government has sequestered this money in Treasury to hide its budget problems.
“The waste levy is set to effectively double over the next four years and I’m using Clean Up Australia Day to call on the Premier to ensure waste levy funds are invested in strategic initiatives that will provide actual outcomes in waste reduction.
“The Minister for Environment Ian Hunter boasts about partnering with KESAB to the tune of $25,000 while holding an estimated $80 million collected via the waste levy in Treasury.
“It is unacceptable that as tens of thousands of people give up their time at Clean up Australia events across the state whilst the Labor Government is undermining volunteer efforts by misusing the funds entrusted to them for waste management.”
KESAB has outlined targeted anti-litter campaigns that been successful interstate as to how the waste levy could be allocated to achieve significant litter reduction outcomes.