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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 4 Hansard (10 April) . .

Page.. 1144..

Title read by Clerk.

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (11.10): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Amendment Bill 2018. The bill proposes a minor amendment to the commencement provisions in relation to the upcoming container deposit scheme. This amendment will ensure that the beverage industry has time to adjust its refund marking labels on beverage containers.

The framework for the container deposit scheme was established by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Amendment Act 2017, which was passed in the Assembly in October 2017, and I am pleased to inform the Assembly that the government has made significant progress towards design and implementation of the scheme since then. The scheme will be launched on 30 June 2018. I am very pleased to see the ACT government move one step closer to commencing the container deposit scheme and achieve another ACT Labor election commitment in the coming months.

The container deposit scheme is a producer responsibility scheme to assist the beverage industry in reducing and dealing with waste generated by beverage product packaging and promote the recovery, reuse and recycling of empty beverage containers. It will help the community to reduce litter and promote a cleaner environment. In addition, local schools, charities, sporting and community groups can also benefit by collecting empty cans, bottles and other eligible containers and returning them to a designated collection point to obtain a 10-cent refund per container.

The container deposit scheme is an inclusive and accessible scheme, promoting and supporting social enterprises within the Canberra community. In addition to providing local schools, charities, sporting and community groups with fundraising opportunities, the scheme also provides a source of income to those most socially vulnerable within our community.

The container deposit scheme has been designed to align with existing schemes in New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory. In particular, the scheme will enable the community to seamlessly access refunds for eligible containers across the ACT and surrounding New South Wales council areas.

The government has been consulting with not only other jurisdictions about the design of the scheme but also the beverage industry, advisory groups, retailers and the community, who will be significant participants in the scheme. As part of this consultation, the beverage industry has asked for a two-year transition to new product labelling requirements.

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