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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 966 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

financial and environmental impacts on a whole-of-society basis were significantly in excess of costs. It found that the environmental cost of disposing a single average beverage container to landfill was 8c to 9c, whereas the cost of recovering that container through combined CDL and kerbside recycling was approximately 2c to 3c. It suggested that a deposit of 10c would be an appropriate level.

While the beverage industry, retailers and consumers of particular beverages would incur net costs from the implementation of CDL, local government would receive a financial benefit through reduced costs of kerbside collection and landfill.

The review also concluded that there would be a net employment increase from the implementation of CDL. The review undertook surveys of stakeholders and found that there was significant support for CDL from the public and that consumers would be willing to bear some of the costs of implementing CDL.

The review concluded that CDL should be implemented in addition to kerbside recycling rather than as a replacement, as there other waste streams such as paper that can be still effectively collected by kerbside recycling.

Given that the ACT is effectively an island within New South Wales, the benefits projected from the implementation of CDL in New South Wales would be sure to flow through to the ACT.

One complication that the review did highlight, however, was a legal impediment to introducing CDL in one state, in that it could be argued that the introduction of CDL was a restriction on interstate trade, which is not allowed under the Australian Constitution. The South Australian legislation was challenged in the High Court in 1990, but the court found that the restriction was justified in that case.

However, since that time the federal government has introduced the Mutual Recognition Act, which establishes a framework for dealing with situations where states want to impose restrictions on interstate trade. Such restrictions can now be allowed only if all states in the Commonwealth agree to them. Some members will recall that the Assembly's law to ban the sale of battery cage eggs in the ACT came unstuck because other states would not agree to the restriction on the sale in the ACT of eggs produced elsewhere.

The New South Wales Minister for the Environment has accepted the conclusions of this review but has said that the issue of CDL needs to be dealt with at a national level. He has said publicly that he will take up this issue in the relevant ministerial councils, mainly the National Environment Protection Council, which has responsibility for developing waste reduction measures. I understand that a meeting of NFPC is scheduled for early May. That is why we need to have this debate tomorrow. Hopefully we will.

This Assembly should give the New South Wales government its support on this issue. The ACT has in the past expressed a strong desire not just to reduce waste but to eliminate it through the establishment of the target of no waste to landfill by 2010. A container deposit scheme would be complementary to and significantly boost other recycling efforts.

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