Council set to call for an increase in Newstart payments
KYOGLE Council is set to join 34 other local councils calling for an increase in Newstart payments.
At Monday's monthly meeting, Kyogle Council mayor Danielle Mulholland will recommend councillors urgently call for the rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance to be immediately increased "in order to responsibly address quality of life issues for those reliant on such income".
Cr Mulholland will further ask for the council to immediately write to all relevant federal ministers, shadow ministers and members of parliament urging that Newstart, Youth Allowance and Pension levels be urgently reviewed and adjusted to fair and responsible levels.
All youth allowance and pension payment amounts will be discussed at the meeting.
In Kyogle, there are 625 people on Newstart and 92 people on Youth Allowance (717 people in total), according to the latest Department of Social Services figures.
A $75 a week raise to allowances would inject an extra $2.62 million into the Kyogle local economy, according to 2018 modelling by Deloitte.
It was argued in the business paper that Kyogle LGA is one of the poorest in NSW and should join the campaign.
"The campaign focuses on increasing Newstart and Youth Allowances, and while the statistics provided address unemployment figures in Kyogle, the proposed increase will also affect recipients of such allowances in the villages," the paper read.
"This is critical in terms of the economic flow on effects and ensuring our residents and ratepayers have sufficient funds to maintain a reasonable standard of living."
Asbestos dumping will also be a hot topic during the council meeting and could become much more expensive for Kyogle outsiders.
During Monday's meeting, general manager Graham Kennett will hand down a report proposing to revise fees for disposal of asbestos at Kyogle landfill, for loads dumped by residents and businesses located outside the LGA.
An increased demand from outsiders disposing their asbestos at the Kyogle Landfill site resulting from reduced provision elsewhere on the region has created operational and budget implications for the council's waste management service.
On May 20, Lismore City Council (LCC) advised Kyogle Council that from June 3, they would no longer accept asbestos at their Wyrallah Road Waste Facility until further notice.
LCC advised local businesses and their ratepayersthey would need to take asbestos to another licensed waste facility for disposal.
The other waste facilities that accept asbestos on the Northern Rivers are:
- Kyogle Landfill Facility (Kyogle)
- Nammoona Landfill Facility (Richmond Valley)
- Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre (Tweed Shire)
- Grafton Regional Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre (Clarence Valley)
The report stated Richmond Valley Council (RVC) had recently advised they would only accept small packages of asbestos (less than 10 square metres) from ratepayers within their local government area at the Nammoona Landfill Facility.
It is anticipated that LCC and RVC will remove the restrictions on the disposal of asbestos at their sites once works to increase site capacity have been completed.
However, there is no clear timeline for the completion of these works.
The consequence of LCC and RVC's actions is that the number of requests to dispose of asbestos at the Kyogle Landfill Facility from businesses and members of the public located in the Lismore, Richmond Valley, Ballina and Byron Bay local government areas has increased exponentially.
To date, Kyogle Council has agreed to dispose of asbestos at the Kyogle Landfill Facility, in the interests of preventing illegal dumping of asbestos within the Northern Rivers.
However, the current operating procedures for the landfill is unable to accommodate the number of requests being received and the amount of asbestos being requested for disposal, without significant disruption to core service provision.
This also has implications for the council's budget.
New fees proposed for Disposal of Large Loads of Asbestos at nominated time are:
- Small wrapped parcels (less than 2 square metres) - per load $18.00 for Kyogle LGA and $23.00 for outsiders.
- Medium wrapped parcels (2 - 10 square metres) - per load $96 for Kyogle LGA and $120 for outsiders.
- Large wrapped loads (greater than 10 square metres) - per tonne $315.00 and $394.00 for outsiders.
Fees for the disposal of large loads of asbestos by special appointment could be higher.
At the meeting, councillors will decide on the new operating procedure and fee structure, which will then be placed on on public display for a period of 28 days. Any public consultation responses will be reported to a future meeting of the council before it adopts the new fee structure.
Youth support will be another focus point at the meeting, with a report being handed down to councillors outlining a proposed pathway to recast and revitalise the Kyogle Youth Advisory Committee (KYAC) as a collaborative partnership with Kyogle Together for youth services across the LGA.