Hard waste push begins

ALBURY councillor Darren Cameron’s pre-election pledge to bring back the annual hard waste collection service starts tonight.

The kerbside service was scrapped in 2010 but Cr Cameron campaigned on its return in the lead-up to the September poll when he was one of five new faces elected.

Cr Cameron has submitted a notice of motion at the council’s final meeting of the year tonight for staff to produce a report on the cost and implications of reintroducing hard waste collection in Albury.

In its final year of operation in 2009, the service cost ratepayers $260,659 last year or $402 a tonne for disposal.

A trade-off for scrapping the service was four free tip vouchers and ongoing free collection for people who suffered hardship due to its axing.

Cr Cameron said hard waste removal was a “core function” of a council.

“It’s something we should do,” he said.

“What level of support I will receive I don’t know.

“But the most significant thing is there are a lot of lower socio-economic class people in Albury.

“There are a lot of pensioners who find it difficult to take rubbish to the tip.

“It is true there is a mechanism in place for people who are stuck.”

Cr Patricia Gould, who voted for the service’s retention two years ago, is still on the council.

Cr Cameron said there had been a significant amount of rubbish dumping since the removal of the service.

“It is common to find mattresses particularly in some of the back streets and bush areas of Albury,” he said.

“I have seen it occur since I’ve been on the council.

“There are still people in Albury who presume if they leave stuff on the footpath it will be picked up.”

Cr Cameron will also address other election promises he made with further notices of motion.

They are converting Curra-wong Street, North Albury, into a one-way street, a 20 per cent pensioner discount on tip fees and removing “footpath fees” from all businesses for tables, chairs and stock.

Meanwhile, Cr Cameron won’t press ahead with an attempt to have a brochure, produced as part of the art gallery redevelopment community consultation, withdrawn.

“It is a moot point now,” he said.

“So many have been distributed and I am not prepared to waste council’s time.”