A gas capture and destruction system at Benaraby Landfill has helped reduce Gladstone council's carbon tax bill from $40 million to $15 million.
A gas capture and destruction system at Benaraby Landfill has helped reduce Gladstone council's carbon tax bill from $40 million to $15 million. David Sparkes

Ratepayers, industry set to pay $15 million for carbon tax

RATEPAYERS and big industry will have to cough up $15 million to ensure Gladstone Regional Council can dodge future carbon tax bills.

Almost a year after the Federal Government announced the carbon tax, the council has revealed how the tax had so far affected the region and ratepayers.

About 22,000 waste-producing households will fork out up to $6 per year, added to their rates bill.

The commercial, demolition and industrial sector will provide the remaining amount.

Gladstone Regional Council water services manager Charlie Sotiris said the Benaraby Landfill was one of the largest contributors to council's carbon footprint.

In August the council developed a gas capture and destruction system to reduce carbon emissions produced by the landfill.

"It has pushed back any liability for about eight years or so to the year 2020," Mr Sotoris said.

"This has been determined by comparison of actual methane destruction against estimated methane generation."

Between August 9, 2012 and January 31, more than one million cubic metres of landfill gas was destroyed.

Mr Sotiris said this had reduced council's carbon debt to the federal government from $40 million to $15 million, based on today's value.

"Council has avoided any liability to after 2020," he said.

Before the July 1 announcement, Gladstone Regional Council, along with 248 other organisations, were initially on a list of organisations that would be hit with the carbon tax.

At the time council CEO Stuart Randle said the list was "absolute rubbish" and said the naming of GRC seemed an "administrative error."

On Tuesday Mr Sotoris said the council was on the initial list as a result of its proactive measures to reduce carbon production before the announcement.

"There may have been other larger councils, with larger landfills, that were not on the register and this is due to not reporting," he said.