Thursday, 08 March 2012
Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith, has rolled out a $3.5 million package that will help rural landfill operators to transition to best practice standards.
The package consists of a $3m funding program, Transition Support to Improve Rural Landfill Infrastructure, and $500,000 for the Environment Protection Authority Victoria to undertake a financial and environmental risk assessment of rural landfills.
Mr Smith said the former Labor Government introduced high standards for landfill operators in 2010 but failed to provide them with the financial support required to meet such standards.
“The former Labor Government over-promised and under-delivered by underestimating the fiscal requirements for landfill operators to meet a high standard of operation.
“The Victorian Coalition Government understands that in order for landfill operators to achieve best practice standards, they require the financial support to achieve those standards.
“The Victorian Government has listened to the concerns of various groups, including councils, and has made available this priority support to deliver much-needed improvements to sites throughout rural Victoria.
“Support from the Coalition Government will help our landfill managers ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place to protect our environment now and into the future.
Landfill operators can apply for one-off funding of up to $250,000 per site to cover the costs of protective geomembranes – the material used to line landfill sites to prevent leaks – and associated testing, installation and auditing of the lining.
“The transition funding will help to alleviate the immediate concerns of councils and will help offset the costs of meeting best practice standards and ensure landfills don’t leave an unacceptable legacy for future generations.
“This funding will save money for ratepayers as landfill operators will no longer need to pass on this initial cost for the protective geomembranes,” Mr Smith said.
“This support funding is one of the many ways the Coalition Government has reinvested the landfill levy into programs that improve waste and landfill management throughout the State.
“The EPA will work closely with local governments and communities to better explain the environmental imperative to meet best practice landfill management requirements.
“All levels of Government, industry and the community have a role to play in making sure we gain the best outcomes from our investment in waste.
“The Waste Policy Review, underway now, will identify the future roles that landfills can play in Victoria’s waste and resource recovery future and how we best plan for and support them,” Mr Smith said.
The $3m Transition Support to Improve Rural Landfill Infrastructure program will be administered by Sustainability Victoria. For more information on the application process, visit www.sustainability.vic.gov.au or call 1300 363 744.
For more information on the waste policy review, visit www.dse.vic.gov.au/waste
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