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Introduction and First Reading

Bill introduced, on motion by Mr D.A. Templeman (Minister for the Environment), and read a first time.
Explanatory memorandum presented by the minister.

Second Reading

MR D.A. TEMPLEMAN (Mandurah - Minister for the Environment) [1.18 pm]: I move -
That the bill be now read a second time.
A levy has been in place since 1998 under the Environmental Protection (Landfill) Levy Act 1998. The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Bill 2007 will repeal that act and this bill will replace it. There are two objectives of the landfill levy. It functions as an economic instrument for influencing waste management practices, including reducing waste to landfill, by increasing the price of landfill disposal. The funds raised by the landfill levy are then used to support waste-related programs that have the effect of reducing waste to landfill. The effect of the bill is essentially unchanged, but the name has been changed to reflect the companion bill, the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Bill 2007. The provisions of this levy bill have been tightened slightly, from those under the Environmental Protection (Landfill) Levy Act 1998, to ensure that the occupier of a landfill cannot avoid liability for the levy by failing to hold the required licence. Although the wording of the bill is appropriately general, there is no intention at this time to apply the levy to anything other than waste that is in landfill. Should any Government seek to change how the levy is applied at some time in the future, it could only be achieved by the making of regulations, which would require wide consultation with affected stakeholders and the assent of the Parliament. It is not anticipated that the levy should be applied to alternative waste treatment or materials recovery facilities at any stage.
I commend the bill to the house.

Debate adjourned, on motion by Mr T.R. Sprigg.