• Local governments and participants in the waste industry.


  • The Queensland Government has released further details on the upcoming waste levy, including rates, levy zones and proposed exemptions.


  • Keep up to date with developments on further changes to the Queensland Government's policy position on the waste management strategy and waste disposal levy.

The Queensland Government has released further details around the key principles in the new waste management strategy set out in the Transforming Queensland Recycling and Waste Industry Directions Paper (Directions Paper). The Directions Paper outlines the government's new resource, recovery, recycling and waste management strategy. The centrepiece of the government's waste management strategy is the re-introduction of the waste disposal levy in early 2019.

What is the proposed waste disposal levy rate?

According to the Directions Paper, the proposed waste disposal levy rates are as follows:

Category Price per tonne
General waste (construction and demolition waste, commercial and industrial waste and municipal solid waste) $70
Category 1 regulated waste $150
Category 2 regulated waste $100

The waste disposal levy rates will increase by $5 per year over the next four years to continue to incentivise change in material recovery, recycling and waste disposal behaviours and practices.

The waste disposal rates will be imposed on designated levy zones across Queensland.

What are the designated levy zones?

The waste disposal levy will be imposed on designated 'levy zones' which includes 38 out of 77 Councils in Queensland, mainly located along the coastline of the state. Councils in far north and western Queensland are anticipated to be exempt from the waste disposal levy, with the exclusion of Mount Isa.

Waste generated interstate or within a classified levy zone and disposed of in an exempt zone will still be subject to the waste disposal levy.

What are the exemptions?

The waste disposal levy will not apply to the following:

  • waste from natural disasters
  • illegally dumped waste and litter collected by local councils or community groups
  • waste received by charities as part of donations, and
  • waste required to be disposed of by regulation will likely be exempt from the waste disposal levy.

Where is the waste disposal levy going?

During the initial years following the waste disposal levy rollout, the Queensland Government expects over 70% of revenue generated through the waste disposal levy will fund advance payments to councils, scheme start ups and operational costs, industry programs and other environmental priorities.

Local governments in the designated levy zones will receive an annual advance on levy changes to offset the waste disposal levy for municipal waste. The Queensland Government has allocated $32 million in funding in the 2018-19 Budget.

The Queensland Government has also announced $100 million collected from the waste disposal levy will be allocated to the Resource Recovery Industry Development Program over the next three years to encourage local governments and the private sector to develop a high value resource recovery industry. The funding program will target three areas of focus:

  • the provision of infrastructure or machinery up to the value of $5 million
  • incentives for the development of new large scale facilities for innovative resource recovery and waste management projects, and
  • advanced feasibility studies.

The funding is set to open later this year.

Have your say

Further work on the detailed levy model will be informed through the Stakeholder Advisory Group and will be released for public consultation in the near future.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.