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ALGA calls for Government rethink on waste dumps.

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Media Release: Australian Local Government Association Thursday, 2 Oct 2008 at 11:42am; Category: Other; Low priority; Story No. 2820. Media Release: Australian Local Government Association Media Release Australian Local Governm This is a media release - distributed by AAP MediaNet. ALGA Calls for Government Rethink on Waste Dumps The Federal Government should follow Professor Garnaut's recommendations to exclude waste dumps from the early stages of a carbon trading scheme, according to the President of the Australian Local Government Association, Cr Paul Bell. Cr Bell has written to the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, this week outlining why inclusion of the waste sector in the initial phase of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) would be 'complex and costly' for local government. "There are many problems that need to be ironed out," Cr Bell said. "Professor Garnaut acknowledges this. His report released this week makes it clear that the early inclusion of emissions from waste dumps would be problematic due to the variability of these emissions and the timing of their release. The report recommends that before being covered in the scheme, other policies to encourage mitigation in the waste sector should be pursued." ALGA's view was that the sector, including local government, should continue to work with the Australian Government on a number of outstanding technical issues which needed to be resolved before waste was included in the CPRS, Cr Bell said. The issues could be summarised as: * the absence of accurate and affordable measurement of methane; * the absence of a grandfathering clause which means that ratepayers will have to pay for waste produced 20 years ago; and * unintended consequences resulting from the establishment of a low threshold such as providing an unfair advantage to larger landfill operators with little or no effect on emissions reduction. Cr Bell said that some members of the waste industry (mainly large landfill operators) have recommended lowering the proposed emission threshold for coverage by the CPRS from 25,000 tonnes per annum carbon dioxide to 10,000 tonnes. "We totally disagree with that," he said. "Lowering the threshold would be an administrative nightmare and goes against international experience," he said. "All it would do would make smaller landfills less economically viable and reduce competition in this sector. The miniscule gains in terms of carbon emission reduction from this end of the sector just don't make it worthwhile, environmentally, socially or economically." "In his Interim report, Professor Garnaut nominated the waste sector for later inclusion in the CPRS (2015, in line with the likely inclusion of the agricultural sector)," Cr Bell said. "I urge the Minister to listen to the advice of Professor Garnaut who was appointed by the Rudd Government to provide an independent and expert opinion on this complex issue." ALGA's formal response to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper is on the ALGA website: SOURCE: Australian Local Government Association Contacts: Cr Paul Bell, ALGA President 0418 791596 Amanda Lynch, Director, Public Affairs 0419 123862 02 6122 9434 NNNN