Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock is encouraging Shoalhaven City Council to take advantage of the NSW Government’s $8 million Organics Collection fund offering to enhance kerbside organic bin collection services following overwhelming community feedback.

Mrs Hancock said recent feedback showed the community was overwhelmingly in favour of seeing kerbside organic bin collection services rolled out across the Shoalhaven.

“This was always about starting a conversation with the community to see whether there is a need for the service and highlighting that the State Government is here to support Council financially,” Mrs Hancock said.

“The recent comments by the Greens Mayor are surprising and a childish overreaction.

“I do not meddle in the affairs of Council but I am open to showing them the Government has funds available and is supporting them, as their applications in the past have been in inadequate, such as for the Nowra Showground.

“There has been six rounds of funding available as part of this scheme and Council have never lodged an application.

“Shoalhaven City Council is eligible to apply for a grant of up to $1.3 million to help with improvements to waste collection services in order to reduce the amount of food waste ending up in landfill.

“This is a fantastic opportunity and the community should at least be informed that is available for them to take advantage of via their local council.

“Other councils across the state are already taking advantage of the program to fund innovative waste solutions that are saving them money and protecting the local environment.

“For example one council is using the organic waste diverted from landfill to help local farmers and improve soil quality. While another council has been able to turn the organic waste into compost and mulch used on local parks and sports ground.

“Even better a council in our region has implemented a program saving ratepayers more than $200,000 in waste levy payments in the first year of the program alone with the added benefit of extending the lifespan of the landfill facility.

“The environmental and economic benefits are obvious, which is why the community are in favour of seeing the program here in the Shoalhaven and why the NSW Government is assisting councils to make the most of their own locally grown organic waste solutions.

“I would strongly advise Mayor Amanda Findley to listen to the community and investigate the opportunity to secure financial assistance for the cost of bins and vehicles.

“Applications are open until 28 June 2018, so it’s not too late to lodge a submission,” Mrs Hancock said.