Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith today named the successful applicants for a $3.87 million funding package as part of the Transition Support to Improve Rural Landfill Infrastructure program which will enhance the protection of Victoria's environment well into the future.
"Today I am pleased to announce the 17 successful applicants who will receive funding of up to $250,000 to meet best practice standards for landfill management," Mr Smith said.
The program which is part of the Government's Conserve Invest Save strategy seeks to address the disproportionate impact on ratepayers in smaller councils and shires that have landfills which need to be upgraded to meet tighter standards introduced under the former government by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) in 2010.
"The former state government failed to consider the financial impact on local government associated with the introduction of tougher landfill standards," Mr Smith said.
"By providing this funding, we are providing necessary financial relief to local government and avoiding these costs being passed on to rate payers through increased rate notices."
Landfill operators will use the funding to cover the costs of protective geomembranes – the material used to line landfill cells to assist in the management of leachate and prevent it contaminating groundwater – and associated testing, installation and auditing of the lining.
"Upgrading of landfills has strong environmental benefits, especially in relation to prevention of ground and surface water contamination," Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said the Victorian community and waste management industry would be adversely impacted by the introduction of the Federal Government's carbon tax from 1 July.
"As councils are left hanging by the Commonwealth Government about their potential carbon liabilities under the carbon tax, the Victorian Coalition Government is providing certainty to local government through reinvestment of the landfill levy to future proof our environmental infrastructure," Mr Smith said.
A full list of the successful applicants and grants is attached.