Protecting the Environment

This State Election, councils have a set of priorities that will create around 29,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in economic opportunities for all Queenslanders.

Local governments play a significant role in protecting our environment through stringent biosecurity controls and natural asset management, which facilitate environmental sustainability and economic prosperity.

Councils also strive to create sustainable communities by embracing a zero-waste future and effective waste management.

To ensure councils can continue to provide leadership in building a sustainable future, and can continue to care for our unique natural assets, local government asks all political parties contesting the 2020 State Election to guarantee:

  • Ongoing waste levy advance payments so Queensland households are not financially impacted
  • $200 million per year for 4 years for a local government Sustainability Fund to finance resource recovery, waste management initiatives, and legacy landfill challenges
  • Commit 70% of waste levy revenue to sustainable resource recovery, recycling infrastructure and programs to build a circular economy
  • $325,000 per year for 2 years to deliver two NRM Governance pilot projects
  • $1.5 million per year for 4 years for flying fox research and a grant program to improve management and mitigation
  • $200 million per year for 5 years to match local government investment in Great Barrier Reef conservation and the delivery of the Reef 2050 Plan to maintain the Reef’s $6 billion economic and environmental asset value
  • $8 million over 3 years to significantly advance key aspects of the Reef Councils’ Rescue Plan to significantly improve urban water quality to the Reef by 2027

Priority

Ongoing waste levy advance payments so Queensland households are not financially impacted

Description

Continue to provide advance quarterly payments to councils to cover the full cost of implementing the Queensland Government’s waste levy.

Benefits

Ensures Queensland households do not suffer a negative financial impact from the introduction of the State Government Waste Levy.

Priority

$200 million per year for 4 years for a Local Government Sustainability Fund to finance resource recovery, waste management initiatives, and legacy landfill challenges

Description

Establish a dedicated sustainability fund to ensure councils can access funding for waste and recovery initiatives and legacy landfill challenges

Benefits

  • Clear delineation between the needs of the waste industry and those of local councils in accessing funding
  • Assures delivery of the Queensland Government’s own Waste Strategy Resource Recovery targets.

Jobs Economic Contribution
Direct 1,634.8 Direct $307.9M
Indirect 3,735.5 Indirect $599.1M
Total jobs over 4 Years 5,370.2 Total GRP over 4 Years ($M): $907.0M

Priority

Commit 70 per cent of waste levy revenue to the funding of sustainable resource recovery, recycling infrastructure and programs to build a circular economy

Description

Quarantine 70 per cent of waste levy funds to fund waste and resource recovery initiatives including:

  • New infrastructure
  • Improving processing and technological capabilities
  • Attracting or expanding major resource recovery operations
  • Planning and support for capital intensive, long‑lifecycle projects requiring a contribution towards investigation to support investment decisions for Queensland

Benefits

  • Diversion of considerable amounts of waste from landfill towards greater resource recovery
  • Investment decisions fast-tracked with additional support for investigations

Priority

$325,000 per year for 2 years to deliver two NRM Governance pilot projects

Description

  • Undertake two innovative local government natural resource management governance programs to improve natural resource management outcomes and coordination
  • Employment of NRM coordinators for each region providing jobs in regional QLD

Benefits

  • Leverage of significant NRM investment by QLD local governments
  • Improved State Government reporting of NRM by incorporating local government’s natural resource management activities into overall reporting
  • Increased efficiency and cost savings through greater coordination across councils and other key stakeholders.
  • Ability for the State Government to guide investment in NRM to support the State’s achievement of natural resource management objectives
  • Increased coordination between NRM delivery agents
  • Increased capacity within the local government sector for NRM

Jobs Economic Contribution
Direct 2.7 Direct $0.33M
Indirect 3.9 Indirect $0.64M
Total jobs over 4 Years 6.6 Total GRP over 4 Years ($M): $0.97M

Priority

$1.5 million per year for 4 years for flying fox research and a grant program to improve management and mitigation

Description

Research the location and population trends of black and grey-headed flying foxes with a focus on habitat preferences and movement patterns to provide improved options for management and reducing conflict with human populations.

Benefits

  • Improved understanding of flying fox ecology
  • Implementation of more effective strategies to reduce conflict between humans and flying fox colonies
  • Assist QLD residents to mitigate the effects of living near flying fox colonies without the sole costs falling to local government

Jobs Economic Contribution
Direct 12.6 Direct $1.5M
Indirect 17.9 Indirect $2.9M
Total jobs over 4 Years 30.5 Total GRP over 4 Years ($M): $4.5M

Priority

$200 million per year for 5 years to match local government investment in Great Barrier Reef conservation and the delivery of the Reef 2050 Plan to maintain the Reef’s $6 billion economic and environmental asset value

Description

  • Double the State Government’s current annual investment to accelerate urgently needed progress to meet Reef 2050 Water Quality Plan targets
  • Expand and increase investment in:
    • the development, scaling up and roll-out of new technologies and approaches to improve reef water quality
    • community awareness raising, education and extension programs, tools, and resources
    • science, research and farm extension projects and catchment restoration projects
    • support for local industry (e.g. extension services to support growers and graziers adopt better business and farming practices within Reef regions)

Benefits

  • Accelerates the delivery of research and on ground activities required to meet the targets of the Reef 2050 Plan and give the Great Barrier Reef a better chance of being resilient to the rapid onset of climate change impacts, than current rates of investment will deliver
  • Increased investment protects the jobs and asset value delivered to Queensland communities by the Great Barrier Reef

Jobs Economic Contribution
Direct 3,495.7 Direct $424.3M
Indirect 4,984.0 Indirect $819.2M
Total jobs over 4 Years 8,479.7 Total GRP over 4 Years ($M): $1,243.4M

Priority

$8 million over 3 years to significantly advance key aspects of the Reef Councils’ Rescue Plan to significantly improve urban water quality to the reef by 2027

Description

  • Co-investment program to implement Reef Councils’ 3 priority initiatives:
    • Cleaner wastewater – improving outflows from community sewerage treatment plants into the reef
    • Cleaner stormwater – improving run-off into immediate and neighbouring fish and marine habitats
    • Cleaner road run off – reducing sediment run-off from unsealed roads serving communities along the Reef

Benefits

  • Accelerate actions to meet Reef Water Quality Improvement Plan targets
  • Assists overcome known barriers to achieving improved water quality outcomes
  • Increased understanding by urban communities and industries about urban water quality issues and their role in improvement
  • Supports local governments to remove ingrained barriers, resulting in sustained practice changes, improved water quality outcomes and reduced costs to ratepayers
  • Saves billions of dollars in the long term (and the Reef) by preventing gully erosion and fine sediment loads in the Reef Catchment

Jobs Economic Contribution
Direct 18.6 Direct $3.4M
Indirect 40.5 Indirect $6.5M
Total jobs over 4 Years 59.1 Total GRP over 4 Years ($M): $9.9M