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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 May 2018) . . Page.. 1606 ..

2020, which is in line with New South Wales and other jurisdictions’ rollout of the container deposit scheme.

Whilst I reiterate that the opposition is still not convinced of the merits or the need for a container deposit scheme in the ACT, we will not be opposing these changes. They are largely administrative in relation to the initial bill.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.39): As Mr Wall has noted, the bill makes a minor amendment to help facilitate the territory’s new container deposit scheme which will commence later this year. The change is that there will be a two-year deferral before beverage suppliers are required to use the common refund marking on their eligible products. The common refund marking will be applied to all eligible beverage containers and will say that there is a 10c refund at collection depots or points in the participating state or territory of purchase. This updates the label from the current one, which only refers to South Australia and the Northern Territory.

This two-year transition period has been agreed to by all Australian jurisdictions with a legislated container deposit scheme. That transition period is intended to allow beverage suppliers sufficient time to adjust, to change the labels and to use up existing stock that is printed with the old refund markings. I must admit that I wonder if two years is an especially generous time period, but I accept, nonetheless, that it is the agreed position between participating jurisdictions. Requiring refund markings earlier than two years in the ACT would mean that the requirements would commence in the territory earlier than in New South Wales, and I can see how that lack of coordination would be difficult for industry and potentially confusing for consumers.

Overall the Greens are very pleased that we are finally moving ahead with a container deposit scheme in the ACT. We expect that the container deposit scheme will reduce litter, improve recycling rates, save money and create new businesses and jobs in the territory. We have advocated strongly for the scheme for over a decade, and it is great to see that it is now being realised. Members who were here in 2013 may remember that the Assembly passed a motion that I introduced calling on the government to work with other jurisdictions to develop a container deposit scheme. My colleague Ms Le Couteur has made similar calls for such a scheme. It is something that the Greens have supported for a long time.

We have supported it, obviously, for a range of environmental reasons, but it has always had strong community support as well, both for environmental reasons and because of the recognition that it can lead to the clean-up of litter. It is one of the reasons I am surprised the local Liberal Party continue to oppose it and take a very narrow focus on the potential costs. We all are regularly subjected to complaints from members of the community who are concerned about the level of litter in our lakes, waterways and parks and on our roadsides. We have all seen the outcomes of Clean Up Australia Day. Those same places are massive sources of drink containers, beverage containers, of various descriptions. Recognising that in places like South Australia this has made an enormous difference to those sorts of issues, I am surprised that the Liberal Party continue to take such a narrow view. I would encourage them to look at the positive outcomes expected from such a scheme: not only positive for

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