Meander Valley Council allays waste charge concerns

Meander Valley Council has moved to allay concerns that some residents are being charged for waste management services they aren't using. 

A number of residents have voiced concern over a flat fee applied to every title in the region, which has risen from $15 to $46 in recent years.  

Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall said he had received a number of representations from disgruntled landowners who were “very unhappy” at being charged the fee for each property they own.

Mr Hall said residents were also concerned they were being charged regardless of whether they used council’s waste removal services.

“Many people use somebody like Jones - a waste management contractor and (they) pay for that service,” Mr Hall said.

“When you're not using a service you shouldn't have to be charged for it.”

Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins said the $46 fee had been included in general rates until council separated waste management charges from rates three years ago.

“The $46 waste charge does not include kerbside collections, (such as) wheelie bins, residents who have collection of rubbish by council’s contractors pay an additional $130 to $158 per property where it is collected,” Cr Perkins said.

“The charge only covers part of the costs of tips and transfer stations - the balance is collected when users visit the tips.”

Cr Perkins said waste management was one of many council services and facilities to which all ratepayers were required to make a contribution. 

“Basically, it costs around $600,000 per year to fund our waste management activities - mainly tips - and a significant portion of this is to ensure that there is sufficient funds at the end of the useful life of that tip to rehabilitate it. 

“Like sporting grounds, bridges and roads, not every resident in the municipality directly uses these facilities, however, rates are collected through every rates notice to maintain those facilities.

“Like our recreation grounds though, there is some portion of ‘user-pays’, although, if these were 100 per cent 'users-pays', no one could afford to use them.”

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