Media statement - Ratepayers in south to be hit hardest by Trash Tax

Published on 19 June 2019

Yesterday’s announcement of the State Government’s 40 per cent increase to the Solid Waste Levy will mean an additional unbudgeted cost burden of $877,240 for City of Onkaparinga ratepayers in 2019-20.

City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson is furious and says the trash tax is irresponsible of the State Government and particularly poor timing given that the news comes while most councils are consulting on their draft budgets.

“Our staff and elected members have worked extremely hard to deliver a proposed 1.6 per cent rate increase, the lowest in our history, and now we receive an eleventh hour slap in the face from the state government for our efforts.

“The state government, who have continuously pressured council with their proposed rate capping policy, is acutely aware of the financial pressures facing councils as a result of China Sword and recycling issues in South Australia.

“But despite this, and despite the fact the state government as at 30 June 2018 had $120 million in the Green Industries Slush Fund – funded by the Solid Waste Levy – none of it has been spent on initiatives in the South.”

Contributing $4.1m in 2018-19, the City of Onkaparinga is one of the largest contributors to the solid waste levy and will now contribute almost $5 million in 2019-20, which is close to a third of its overall waste management budget and represents a further 0.673% increase in council rates.

“We want our ratepayers to understand that whilst this will be collected through council rates this is a State government stealth tax imposed on council and ratepayers.

“On top of this, in 2020-21, there will be a further increase of $737,679, in addition to the $877,240 impost this year, bringing the total increase over two years to more than $1.6 million.

“What’s most disappointing is the total lack of consultation before announcing this outrageous increase, imagine if council operated in this way!” says Mayor Thompson.

City of Onkaparinga Impacts for 2019-20

Impact of the waste Levy increase (all streams)


Impact to budget for waste and recycling for 2019-20 (china sword, green organics & levy)


Revised Total Levy payable for all waste streams for 2019-20



City of Onkaparinga Impacts for 2020-21

Potential Budget increase Impact for levy increase from 2019-20 to 2020/21 (all streams)


Potential budget impact 2020-21 (china sword, green organics & levy)


Potential Waste Levy budget impact for 2020-21 (assumes a CPI increase of 2.5%)