34 councils to pay carbon tax – CER
THE regulator overseeing the federal Government’s pollution price regime says 34 local councils will be liable to pay Labor’s carbon tax when it starts in two weeks.
The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) says of the 559 councils across Australia 32 have landfill sites generating more than 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasses per year. A further two councils are liable as natural gas suppliers.
New South Wales councils include Griffith, Tamworth, Albury, Maitland and Cessnock.
The regulator in May published a list of 248 companies, universities and councils which it said would be liable to pay the $23-per-tonne pollution price from July 1.
Yesterday (Friday, June 15) it added an additional 24 councils and another 22 entities to the list taking the total to 294.
The CER a month ago said it expected around 330 entities would end up being liable for the 2012-13 financial year.
New liable entities will be added as more information comes to light.
Climate Change Parliamentary Secretary, Mark Dreyfus yesterday put a positive spin on the latest news.
“It is clear the vast majority of landfills in Australia will not be covered by the carbon pricing mechanism,” he says in a statement.
Mr Dreyfus also pointed out that councils could reduce or eliminate their carbon tax liability by capturing dangerous gasses produced by decomposing waste in order to bring them below the 25,000-tonne threshold.
Emissions can be cut by so-called gas flaring, installing combustion equipment, recycling and composting.
The regulator originally wrote to 104 local councils it thought could operate landfills that would be liable to pay the carbon tax. In May it thought 70 would end up being slugged from July 1.
Tips that generate more than 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year will have to pay the tax from mid-2013 – 12 months after the carbon tax starts on July 1.
But councils that have done their sums already could increase rates and fees from July 1 this year because landfill emissions are released over 40 years.