Mark Dreyfus, the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, said it was important councils did not just take all claims about the impact of the carbon price at face value.
“Some councils appear to be significantly overestimating the impact of the carbon price on landfill, when the vast majority of landfill sites will not be subject to a carbon price at all,” he told the forum.
Only larger landfill sites, which had emissions of more than 25,000 tonnes a year, would be liable for the tax. Those sites had the opportunity to use gas capture technology and cut emissions to get them back under the cap.
Dreyfus told the councils there also were opportunities to make money under the carbon pricing scheme.
“A carbon credit can be earned for every tonne of pollution cut or avoided from landfill, and these can be sold on carbon markets generating extra income for councils or landfill operators,” he said.
The climate change department, the regulator and the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) would join forces to run support sessions to help councils work out how the carbon price would affect them.
The two-day forum also heard from councils implementing new management and accounting systems to deal with changes to their landfills as a result of carbon pricing.
Sources: KVW, AAP, Australian Local Government Association