Waste collection vouchers and a free collection open day are now on the table as the council decides on new bin regulations.
In the final meeting for 2018, councillors discussed the possibility of opening the town’s transfer station for one day early next year, to encourage residents to deliver their waste free of charge.
Additionally, vouchers for free collection are expected to be delivered to residents in February along with the next ratepayers' notice.
“The only people that at this stage, [who will] get a voucher and a free day, are those people within the scavenging area,” said council general manager James Davis.
“So they are the bins that are collected in Illabo, Old Junee, Bethungra, and Junee.”
Councillor Martin Holmes voting strongly in favour.
“I think it’s about time, we’ve been pushing for it since I’ve been on council,” said Cr Homes.
“I was even taken aback when I [saw the recommendation], I thought, ‘oh, this means we’re moving in the right direction,” said Cr Holmes.
Likewise, Councillor Kerri Walker confirmed the most frequent complaint she hears from constituents relates to rubbish fees.
“I don’t know about other councillors, but I constantly hear about the fees, the vouchers, the whole bit. So this would be a great start to trying to fix all of those things,” said Cr Walker.
However, Councillor Pam Halliburton questioned whether the timing of the voucher delivery would disadvantage those ratepayers who paid at the commencement of the 2018/19 financial year.
“If Tom Jones [for example] has paid his rates in full, he won’t get a rate notice in February. Will Tom Jones get a separate letter?,” asked Cr Halliburton.
Although in favour of the solution Councillor Robin Asmus queried whether the increased traffic to the transfer station would cause a greater headache than anticipated.
“The idea is fantastic, … I agree with it,” said Cr Asmus.
“I disagree with the free day as an extra as well. You’ve got a voucher, you don’t need to have a free day as well, but that is just my personal opinion.
“A free day, there’s a lot of pressure on a waste facility all in a day. The voucher system spreads that load.”
Responding to the hypothetical conundrum, councillor Mark Cook presented in agreement with Cr Asmus.
“Possibly you might need to split it because, yeah they’d be flat out if everyone decides to go on the one day. You’d be having vehicles lined up down the road.”