Checking into Rehab

It’s the time of year, where you need to consider your addiction to waste and whether your landfill rehabilitation provision needs some therapy.

On a serious note, any Council that operates a landfill or has an unrehabilitated legacy landfill needs to declare the future costs of the landfill “make good” as part of Council’s annual financial reporting. Over the past few years, the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) have increased scrutiny over whether costs for future rehabilitation are accurate and reasonable.

Council can ask themselves a few questions that will help identify the suitability of their provision and answer any audit questions:

  1. What evidence can you provide that your provision covers all active and legacy landfill capping costs and post-closure aftercare costs? It’s important that legacy landfills and aftercare costs are included for the aftercare period stated in your licence.
  2. What design standard are you applying for capping? Is it consistent with your licence or the Department of Environment and Science (DES) landfill guideline?
  3. How did you calculate the capping costs? Was it based on current market rates and does it reflect the design standard?
  4. Do you have a position paper that documents all of the above and can be provided to the auditor to substantiate the provision?
  5. When did you last review your estimate? Ideally, this would be an annual exercise to review all assumptions and see what has changed. If it has been more than 3 years since your last review or your landfill or licence has changed significantly, it’s worthwhile taking a deeper dive into the detail.

Typically, Council’s finance need to complete the provision by July each year, so you’ve still got some time to check yourself out. Want help with rehabilitation provisions? Resource Innovations can help.


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