The Municipal and Industrial Landfill Levy (MILL) and its distribution plays an important role in minimising the environmental impacts of waste and in promoting investment in alternatives to landfills. It was established in 1992 to encourage recycling by putting a price on every tonne of waste that goes to landfill.
These proceeds are used first to fund core activities of environmental agencies, with the remaining balance transferred to the Sustainability Fund (the fund). Payments from the fund can only be made to foster:
- environmentally sustainable uses of resources and best practices in waste management
- community action or innovation in relation to the reduction of greenhouse gas substance emissions, or adaptation or adjustment to climate change in Victoria.
This audit provides an independent assessment of, and insights into, whether the landfill levy system is being managed transparently and is meeting its intended legislative objectives. We focused on the financial management of the MILL and the fund, processes for prioritising and selecting programs funded from the fund, project management and outcomes of funding.
We audited five agencies involved with the collection of the MILL, administration of the fund and/or that are recipients of its funding:
- Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
- Environment Protection Authority
- Sustainability Victoria
- Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group
- Gippsland Waste and Resource Recovery Group.
We made 14 recommendations for DELWP in this audit.