Monash Council applied to the Essential Services Commission in February 2018 to vary its rate from the State Government’s rate cap of 2.25% in the wake of China’s ban on receiving some recycled materials.
Council had proposed to increase its rate cap to 3.5% in the 2018/19 financial year.
This variation was proposed as a result of increased costs to meet household recycling following the issue with China accepting recycling materials.
The ban has resulted in recycling companies no longer offering a rebate to Councils, as they have in the past, with Councils now required to pay for processing recycling.
The net cost of recycling to Monash Council is $1.5 million a year, as Council will no longer receive a payment from our recycling company for our recycling materials.
On 5 June 2018, the Essential Services Commission advised it would partially vary the rate by 0.32%, bringing the rate to 2.57%.
Essential Services Commission Report (pdf, 572KB)
Essential Services Commission Media Release (pdf, 169KB)
Council believes the ESC’s proposed rate variation is not adequate to help Council meet its increased costs. We do not support the ESC’s position that the costs incurred by Monash Council for recycling could only be short-term.
Monash Council has limited choices in how it can make up this unexpected cost as unlike many other Councils, we do not have a separate waste charge that can be adjusted to meet this unexpected increase.
We have for many years been the lowest rating Council and have been debt free since 2015. We are prudent about spending but also know that it’s important to our community that we continue to improve infrastructure like reserves, playspaces and community centres.
Council is now having to consider whether to introduce a separate waste charge to meet the increased costs.
If introduced, a waste charge would be applied to all ratepayers at an average cost of around $20 a year. Council will also consider how any waste charge, if introduced, would impact on pensioners as part of its consideration.