News / Council

Household rubbish collection charge to rise by 25%

Moreland Council budget also includes $61.3 million in capital works spending

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Mark Phillips
Monday, May 10, 2021

RUBBISH collection charges for most households in Moreland will rise by 25% next financial year as the impact of a higher state government landfill levy hits home.

Moreland Council has outlined the increase in the annual charge for a standard 80 litre household bin in a proposed budget to be considered by councillors on Wednesday night.

Other highlights in the budget include a $61 million capital works investment program next year with the redevelopment of Fleming Park in Brunswick East and completion of a new community hub in Glenroy the big ticket items.

This year’s capital works program is the first instalment of more than $225 million to be spent by the council over the next four years.

The budget proposes the charge for an 80 litre residential garbage bin will rise by 94 cents a week or $48.72 a year to a total cost of $247.03 next year.

“[This is] largely due to the proposed increase to the landfill levy increase [sic] imposed by the state government, the replacement of waste trucks and the continued uptake in Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO),” the council report says.

The standard landfill levy imposed on councils will increase from $65.90 a tonne this year to $105.90 next year and $125.90 in 2022–23.

The levy is intended to act as both a disincentive for rubbish going to landfill, and to generate funds for research and initiatives to reduce landfill.

Moreland expects to collect 57,839 tonnes of waste next year, with 51% of that being diverted away from landfill. It is budgeting for waste services expenditure to rise from $15 million to $20.3 million next year. Garbage bin charges are forecast to bring $21.4 million in council income next year.

$61.3 million in capital works

Next year’s capital works program is headed by the Glenroy Community Hub, a $27.5 million development that will bring a library, kindergarten, community and maternal and child health services under the one roof. The council has allocated $11 million towards the project in 2021–22.

A major redevelopment of Fleming Park has begun this year, including repurposing the grandstand, a new multipurpose sports pavilion and new public amenities with $6.5 million allocated in 2021–22.

Next financial year, the council will also spend $3.5 million on its Park Close to Home program to create new public spaces in dense urban areas, $7.1 million on footpaths and bike paths, and $8.9 million on roads and car parks.

The budget projects total capital works spending of $225.6 million over the next four years, with just over 20% of that to be spent on new projects.

Solid financial footing

Total council income will rise by a modest 2.5% next year to $237 million, growing to $244.1 million by 2024–25, with 72% of that coming from rates and waste management charges. Another 11% comes from commonwealth and state government grants, and 6% comes from fees and fines.

General rates revenue will increase by 3%, bringing in $148.9 million for the council, partly due to an increased number of rateable properties and to a 5% increase in the average residential property valuation to $715,600. Just over 90% of rates revenue comes from residential properties.

Fees and fines are forecast to earn the council $14.9 million next financial year compared to $9.4 million in 2020–21, despite a commitment to free car parking during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With total expenditure of $198 million, the council expects to make an underlying surplus of $19.3 million next financial year, a five-fold improvement on the Covid-affected 2020–21 financial year which saw council expenditure blow out to $208.8 million.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought huge challenges for the community, and Moreland has faced financial challenges in providing new and modified services to people who need it most, while dealing with reduced income,” Mayor Annalivia Carli Hannan and Chief Executive Cathy Henderson write in their introduction to the proposed budget.

“Council will continue to be agile in pivoting our services and programs to support community and business.”

With the proposed budget expected to be endorsed by councillors this Wednesday night, it will then be opened for public feedback before it is formally adopted on June 24.

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