Outrage over Australian council’s new rubbish collection ‘bin tax’: ‘They’re just finding new ways to rip everyone off’
A Melbourne council and residents are ready to go to war over a proposed new ‘bin tax’ that has angered residents over the fee that could be as high as $115.
Yarra Council currently includes the cost of waste service disposal in its general fee bill which it delivers to residents, but is now proposing to include it as a separate line item in its fee notice.
The council claims the move will make rate notices “more transparent” but residents have criticized the move as a way to circumvent caps on rate increases.
The fee could be as high as $115 according to council documents.
“They’re just finding new ways to rip everyone off,” Ratepayers vice president Victoria Dean Hurlston told Nine’s A Current Affair.
“It may not be a real loophole, but it’s a technical way of getting around the limit, so it’s a cash grab.”
Some residents worry that if the waste disposal charge falls outside the 3.5 percent cap on municipal fees, the cost could rise exponentially, and Hurlston says fees could increase by 20 percent a year. .
“Council officials, management, the chief executive, they are explicit in saying: ‘We need to get that charge under the fee cap so we can charge basically unimpeded,’ Ken, a Yarra council local, told the programme.
Outraged residents have taken matters into their own hands, with the Yarra Residents’ Collective petition against the ‘bin tax’ reaching over 4,500 signatures.
Residents have held numerous meetings to coordinate their efforts to prevent the ‘bin tax’ from being introduced
“This is a council in a spending crisis that is simply trying to push its issue on residents with these new taxes in the trash,” the petition says.
The council has defended its decision to review the proposal, saying it is not introducing a new tax and is the last council in Victoria to separate the waste charge from the fee notice.
“Seventy-six councils in Victoria have already separated waste service charges and two others have decided to do so,” a spokesman said.
Yarra Council will meet on March 14 on the proposal and has hired private security guards during the meeting, according to councilor Stephen Jolly, who opposes the ‘container tax’.
“The locals are not violent neo-Nazis, they are simply opposed to Bin Taxes and want to use their (truncated) rights to speak at the meeting,” Jolley said on Twitter.
Very very bad looking.
The council previously tried to introduce a similar fee in 2017, but was forced to abandon the plan due to public opposition.