Sunday, May 26, 2024

East Gippsland pushes for circular State funding

Victoria’s East Gippsland Shire Council has thrown its support behind a push for a new State-funded Local Government Circular Economy Funding Program.

The Municipal Association of Victorian (MAV), supported by Council, has requested that the Victorian Government establish a new two-part $120million funding package for local government over four years. This would include:

  • A $100 million (over four years) Local Government Circular Economy Infrastructure Fund to contribute to the capital costs of implementing household recycling reforms, and construction, upgrades and improvements of council transfer stations, material aggregation sites and resource recovery centres.
  • A $20 million (over two years) Local Government Circular Economy Capability Fund to support councils to prepare, review and update waste and recycling policies, strategies and plans; undertake feasibility studies, risk assessments and audits; engage third party expert advice and assistance; training and professional development.

East Gippsland Mayor, Mark Reeves said the program would help minimise the cost impacts on households of implementing and delivering the Victorian Government’s ambitious circular economy reforms.

“We recently wrote to Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy and Minister for Environment and Climate Action, outlining our support for the Government’s ambition for an accelerated transition to a circular economy. But we also outlined the need for funding support to deliver any reform at a community level,” said Mayor Reeves.

“The speed and scale of recent recycling reforms has created significant resourcing and cost pressures on councils, with the requirement to standardise bin lid colours and reform household services expected to come at a significant cost to the ratepayers of East Gippsland.

“Recognising the already significant cost pressures on households, we are working hard to minimise the cost impacts of these reforms on our residents. However, the combination of increased landfill levy rates, new service and infrastructure requirements, population growth, and ballooning capital works costs makes this a very difficult challenge.”

To minimise unnecessary administrative costs, Council has asked that funding support be made available as a non-competitive grants package.

“Moving to a circular economy is a shared responsibility and we look forward to working with the Government to minimise the direct financial impact of reforms on local government and in turn local communities,” said Mayor Reeves.

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