Michelle Lensink

Solid Waste Levy

Question put forward to the Hon. G.E. GAGO(Minister for Environment and Conservation) in relation to solid waste levy.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: My questions to the Minister for Environment and Conservation about the solid waste levy are as follows:

1. What is the total quantum of funds that has been collected so far by the levy?

2. How much has been expended; and what has it been expended on?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO(Minister for Environment and Conservation): I did not quite hear the question because of the noise in the chamber. I take it that the questions are about the waste levy. I do not have those exact figures, but I am happy to take those questions on notice and bring back a detailed response. In terms of the levy, currently the waste levy is $10 million a year, with half going to the EPA and half to ZeroWaste. Prior to ZeroWaste existing (which was back in early 2000), the waste levy went in total to the EPA.

Since being set up as a department, half of the fee has been sent to ZeroWaste; the other half going to the EPA. I do not know how long that has been in place. I gather that the member is asking back to the inception of the waste levy but, as I said, I do not have those details with me. I am happy to take that on notice and bring back a response.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have a supplementary question. Is the minister aware as to whether any of those funds have been expended and, if so, does she have a figure for that amount?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: Is the honourable member asking whether any of the waste levy funds have been expended?

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink: Yes.

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: I gave quite a detailed response yesterday, but I am happy to do it all again. A good part, or all of the Zero Waste budget, is supplied through the Zero Waste levy. I believe it does not receive funds from anywhere else but, if it does, it would not be of any significance. In terms of Zero Waste, other than funds that are placed in the Waste to Resources fund which sit there for however long to be spent on future projects, those funds are used to fund the administration and the programs run by Zero Waste.

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink: How much?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: I just said that currently the Waste levy is $10 million.

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink: How much is being spent?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: I have already said to the member (I think she must be hard of hearing today) that I do not have the details of the accrual of the levy since the time of its inception. I said up-front, as soon as I got to my feet, that I do not have that level of detail with me today but that I am happy to bring back a response. Basically, that is what it is spent on. In terms of the EPA, it is a similar thing. The waste levy contributes to the administration and program of activities of the department. That is what it is spent on.

The EPA also receives funding from penalties and suchlike; it generates revenue from the penalties that it receives when breaches of the act occur. It has income from there but, basically, it also includes income received from Treasury to pay for the administration and program of activities of those two departments. It is not rocket science.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

 In reply to the Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (7 June 2007).

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health): I have been advised that:

1. Since the creation of the EPA as an independent authority in July 2002, the EPA has collected approximately $51.7 million from the solid waste levy. The waste levy, however, has been in place a lot longer than that and has been used to fund various waste management programs including Recycle 2000, the waste management committee and the EPA as a former Division of the Department for Environment and Heritage.

The annual collections from the solid waste levy since 2002-2003 are as follows:

 

Total $000

2006-07 Approx. to end May   $000

2005-06 $000

2004-05 $000

2003-04 $000

2002-03 $000

EPA

51,696

10,350

11,528

12,107

11,580

6,131

 

Figures for funds collected prior to 2002 are not readily available. Since 2003-2004, when Zero Waste SA (ZWSA) was created as an independent authority, 50 per cent of the waste levies collected by EPA have been transferred to ZWSA.

2. ZWSA has expended approximately $20 million to the end of May 2007 on programs to promote waste management practices that, as far as possible, (a) eliminate waste or its consignment to landfill; and (b) advance the development of resource recovery and recycling. The Environment Protection Authority has used 50 per cent of the waste levies collected to support the administration and enforcement of the Environment Protection Act by the following;

Developing, drafting and reviewing environment protection policies;

Providing control and minimisation of pollution and waste;

Conducting compliance investigations and provision of environmental monitoring and evaluation programs; and

Provision of advice and assistance regarding environmental management practice.

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