GRIFFITH City Council has been named as one of 112 councils which could be slugged more than $500,000 per year under the carbon tax.
While council was not named as one of the nation’s top 248 polluters who will indubitably pay $23 per tonne for carbon emissions, it is close enough to the 25,000-tonne threshold to be considered a risk by the Clean Energy Regulator.
There are 89 regional and 23 city councils on the regulator’s hit list.
In a Senate Estimates hearing last week, the federal government promised to provide advice and technical training to help each council avoid having to pay the carbon tax.
But council waste operations manager John Roser said he had done the calculations on Griffith’s emissions and was
confident the city would stay below the 25,000-tonne trigger point without any assistance.
“Using statistical data and the Clean Energy Regulator’s calculator, we have determined we won’t have any sort of carbon liability, taking into account our legacy waste (deposited before July 2012) and our non-legacy waste,” Mr Roser said.
“Both types of waste, at their peak, are well below the threshold.
“We don’t put enough tonnage in our landfill to trigger that liability but that doesn’t mean we’re not keeping an eye on it and looking at ways to keep our emissions down.”
Council general manager Brett Stonestreet said the organisation would cooperate with any assistance offered by the government but he was satisfied with the preliminary indications from Mr Roser and his team.
In addition to agreeing to help councils reduce their emissions, the government announced it would grant them a 12-month reprieve from paying the carbon tax.
Riverina MP Michael McCormack viewed the postponement as an admission of guilt from the government and was shocked to see small councils like Griffith on the carbon tax hit list.
“It’s preposterous,” Mr McCormack said.
“It is appalling to think Griffith, which the government has screwed over and squeezed so much out of, has to take another whack like this.
“It’s so unfair and unwarranted. This is not going to reduce the temperature by one degree.”
Mr Roser has not ruled out reconsidering a greenwaste service for the city to prevent being stung with the carbon tax in future years.