Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 May 2018) . . Page.. 1605 ..
members for their fulsome support of or non-opposition to, as would be the case with those opposite, the legislation. I commend it to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Waste Management and Resource Recovery Amendment Bill 2018
Debate resumed from 10 April 2018, on motion by Ms Fitzharris:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR WALL (Brindabella) (4.36): This bill relates to the commencement of the container deposit scheme in the ACT. I would like to reiterate the Canberra Liberals’ opposition to the scheme. We still do not believe that the case has been made or substantiated necessitating what is essentially a tax on beverages in the territory. The ACT continues to have one of the highest rates of recycling of beverage containers in the country. Initiation of this scheme only seeks to add an additional cost burden to residents in the territory when they purchase bottled or “containered” alcohol or soft drinks and fruit juices.
There is significant concern that the opposition continues to hold around the increased costs. I think that is also evidenced by those on the government’s side with the role that the ICRC will play in monitoring pricing from here through to the commencement and post the commencement of the scheme as it is proposed on 30 June this year.
The opposition is looking very closely at the example of New South Wales, which our scheme largely mirrors, particularly the impact on competition that we have seen in relation to the location of the return and earn or container deposit scheme, either reverse vending machines or depots the containers can be returned to. Overwhelmingly, through New South Wales, those sites have been partnered with the Woolworths supermarket chain. That raises significant concerns for the opposition around how fair competition can be maintained when one retailer has largely got control of where the containers can be returned and deposited. The biggest challenge in business is attracting customers to your premises. If someone is given a big free kick for a scheme like this at the expense of a competitor, it bodes very poorly for increased or sustained competition in the beverage market.
This bill seeks to ultimately establish the commencement of a scheme on 30 June this year and also fixes a transition issue from the original legislation around section 64X, if my memory serves me correctly, allowing for a two-year transition period for the labels of these containers to have the appropriate marking on them extended until