Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 8 June 2017) . . Page.. 2124 ..
significant improvement in the safety of our workplaces. That is something that one would hope would sit above politics. But nothing about this opposition surprises me in the context of their capacity to want to bash the union movement all the time. The serial offender there is the former leader, Mr Hanson, whose efforts mean that he finds himself right now in a somewhat tricky legal situation.
Environment—container deposit scheme
MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, how is the government delivering better suburbs for Canberra? In particular, how will our environment and local community groups benefit from the introduction of a container deposit scheme in the ACT?
MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Cheyne for her question and for her very strong and ongoing interest in, in particular, reducing waste in the territory. As we know, the Barr Labor government is delivering in this year’s budget on its election commitments to deliver better suburbs for all Canberrans. Our $23.3 million better suburbs package includes the government’s commitment for a container deposit scheme in the territory to encourage more Canberrans to do the right thing with their leftover drinking containers. From early next year, Canberrans will be able to hand in their old containers for cash reimbursement.
Drink containers make up more than a quarter of the volume of all litter in the ACT, and this scheme will help protect the environment and improve the look and feel of our city.
Our government recognises the significant impact that litter has on the natural environment, on our local parks and playground and on the waterways of our bush capital. Litter from drink containers, particularly glass, can cause injuries to people, and the presence of litter can have flow-on effects to other antisocial behaviour, for example, graffiti. The container deposit scheme is expected to reduce litter in our public spaces and waterways.
The CDS works on littering behaviour in two important ways: firstly, by encouraging the person consuming the drink to hold on to the empty container for later redemption; and, secondly, by providing an incentive for other people to pick up litter containers to receive the refund.
The New South Wales government is implementing a CDS from 1 December this year, and the ACT government is working closely with New South Wales to ensure that the schemes are harmonised when ours starts early next year. The scheme will cover most beverage containers between 150 ml and three litres. Eligible containers will be able to be returned to collection points for a 10c refund. We will be working to facilitate the establishment of a network of container collection points right across the ACT, and the ACT will work with New South Wales to ensure that containers purchased in the ACT can also be returned to New South Wales collection points and vice versa.