ORANGE City Council will not have to pay the $23 per tonne carbon price when the legislation begins from July 1.
In a letter to over 100 councils, including Orange and Bathurst, the Clean Energy Regulator said councils with populations greater than 20,000 may be liable if landfill waste emits 25,000 tonnes or more of carbon dioxide.
But council spokesman Nick Redmond confirmed the council would not be forced to pay.
“The carbon tax is not across the entire council ... it’s the landfill, sewer treatment plant (STP) and water filtration plant,” he said.
“The STP and water filtration are under 25,000 tonnes.
“The existing [Ophir Road] landfill is over 25,000 tonnes but we’re a building a new landfill and our understanding is there’s no charge for legacy waste.”
According to the letter, the carbon price will only cover waste deposited after July 1.
“The government does not believe it is fair to ask ratepayers to pay for emissions from waste deposited over previous decades,” the letter said.
Mr Redmond said council already had measures in place to reduce its carbon footprint, with resource recovery also expected to reduce the amount of landfill.
“At the STP some of the methane we reuse, and we can also flare off methane,” he said.
“We have been quite clever about limiting our emissions.
“We’ve started to put some solar panels on buildings.”
Mr Redmond said an expected increase on power prices was covered by a 0.4 per cent increase in council rates as part of the rate pegging limit set by the state government.