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Landfill changes respond to local government



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THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

MEDIA RELEASE

GC 297/11 11 October 2011

LANDFILL CHANGES RESPOND TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The Gillard Government is responding to issues raised by local government over the application of a carbon price to small landfill facilities with amendments to its clean energy legislative package.

The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, said today the changes made clear there would be no carbon price liability for landfill facilities with emissions of less than 25,000 tonnes of carbon pollution a year for at least the first three years of the carbon price mechanism.

The Government has been consulting with landfill operators and independent experts concerning small landfill facilities and the potential for waste to be diverted from larger facilities and what measures would be appropriate to deal with this issue.

Local government stakeholders advised the Government that due to existing waste disposal contracts, land use planning and other restrictions, the risk of diversion of waste is low.

Smaller councils have also said that they were looking for certainty over whether smaller facilities would be covered by the carbon price mechanism.

The Government has listened to this feedback and decided that landfill facilities with direct emissions of less than 25,000 tonnes of CO2-e will not be covered under the carbon pricing mechanism at least until 2015-16.

The Climate Change Authority will be asked to review the issue no later than 2015-16, noting that the Government’s preference is to maintain the current arrangements unless there is clear evidence of waste diversion.

The Government will also move amendments today to allow local councils and other landfill operators to discharge up to 100 per cent of their emissions using credits issued under the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) during the fixed price years of the carbon pricing mechanism where landfill emissions are the majority of their liability.

This will reduce the residual carbon price liability for local councils and commercial landfill operators who earn CFI credits by implementing landfill legacy emission avoidance projects such as capturing and flaring methane emissions.

In addition to the landfill changes, the Government will move a number of technical amendments to the legislative package.

Media contact: Mark Davis 0400 295 560; Gia Hayne 0412 060 406