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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1266 ..

MR BARR: Economic diversification is key to our city’s long-term prosperity and tourism is an area where we have a significant comparative advantage. The industry is a leading driver of retaining young and talented people in our city. Our city’s ongoing success will be built on young Canberrans finding creative new ways to establish enterprises right here in Canberra, many of them involving sharing our city with the world.

MR PETTERSSON: Chief Minister, what will the government be focusing on with respect to future tourism growth?

MR BARR: Increasing transport connectivity for our city is the most important thing that we can do to support further tourism growth. Our goal is to make it cheaper and easier to travel directly to Canberra both internationally and domestically.

Recycling—container deposit scheme

MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, can you please provide an update on the rollout of the ACT’s container deposit scheme?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Cheyne very much for the question. I was very pleased to join with a number of partners earlier this week to announce the commencement of the ACT container deposit scheme. The establishment of the scheme is the delivery of another election commitment; this one, yet again, firmly opposed by the opposition.

I think it is important that the Canberra community understand that the Canberra Liberals voted against this scheme. This scheme will reduce litter in our local parks and waterways, as well as providing more support for social enterprises and community groups. Almost every jurisdiction in the country either has a container deposit scheme or is in the process of establishing a container deposit scheme. The Canberra Liberals’ view is that just because everybody else is doing it around the country it therefore must be a bad idea. We disagree.

Under our scheme the Canberra community will be able to return eligible, empty beverage containers to designated collection points and receive a 10c refund for each container. Agreements between the scheme coordinator, Exchange for Change ACT, the network operator, Return-It, and the ACT government were signed on 29 March. The signing of these agreements commenced a 12-week mobilisation phase, ahead of the official scheme commencement on 30 June.

There will be express collection points run by social enterprise groups such as LEAD, the Salvos and National Disability Services, which in turn creates increased revenue streams through the employment and engagement of those most in need of finding work in our community. As I indicated earlier in the week, within the coming weeks collection point agreements will be finalised with social enterprise partners, and the Canberra community will be informed of the collection point locations.

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