Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1064 ..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
the principle of extended producer responsibility as a means of decreasing waste and packaging in the waste stream.
The time has come for us to revisit this issue and I am happy to support Ms Tucker's motion that it be taken on in a national approach. Previous assemblies have looked at an ACT approach to the issue. The ACT, in isolation, could never make such a thing succeed. Perhaps the ACT, in concert with New South Wales, could make significant inroads. Certainly, as part of a national approach, we could make very significant inroads.
The Minister for Planning cited statistics for South Australia showing the relatively poor performance of CDL in that area, but the thing that we need to do is to go back to the fact that it cannot stand alone as an option; there has to be an option which is integrated with a whole range of waste management strategies to reduce the amount that we turn to waste. With that in mind, the Liberal Party will be happy to support Ms Tucker's motion.
MS DUNDAS (6.15): The Democrats will be supporting this motion. We believe that it is a very important initiative. Container deposit legislation has existed in South Australia for some time, as we have all noticed in buying drinks that have a label on them referring to a 5c deposit there. When this legislation was brought in, 5c was a lot of money and many young kids would spend a lot of time collecting bottles and taking them back to recycling centres.
This motion has been brought forward to bring attention to the report prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney and launched by the New South Wales Environment Minister. I hope that members of this Assembly will take a look at it. I thank Ms Tucker for bringing forward this motion and hope that its passage will be the end result.
The introduction of container deposit legislation would support kerbside recycling, which, as we have ascertained from a number of debates, is becoming expensive, but is still a vital operation. I believe that some local councils in areas of New South Wales are struggling to meet recycling demands. That is why we need a national approach to recycling. As we know, the environment does not stop at state borders. Container deposit legislation would help reduce the cost of kerbside recycling and provide a popular alternative for the collection and reuse or recycling of virtually all beverage containers.
There is no reason to believe that products in refundable containers would be more expensive. In fact, savings due to the efficiency of a national-based scheme could lower prices. Another benefit is that the collection costs would be funded by unclaimed deposits, that is, consumers who did not return their containers would fund the system. Why should all Canberrans, through their rates, subsidise the beverage and packaging industries by collecting their containers? The introduction of container deposit legislation would end this unjust situation.
I finish by repeating that this motion will receive the support of the Australian Democrats. I hope that this proposal will move forward at the national level.